I wrote a paper back in the spring of 2015 for a philosophy course with Dr. Brian Glenney. The course — Brains, Minds, and Persons — was a study on the metaphysical aspects of consciousness and the human person. The following is the final paper I wrote for the class and a big reason why I started this blog. It ties in with my original blog post “The New Earth for a Physicalist.”
Based on the evolutionary progress of humans it is reasonable to argue that humans will evolve to the point of being able to consciously control matter. I am not talking about the traditional macro-telekinesis, or ESP, that most people think of when they talk about moving objects with the mind. This idea has no merit and seems rather impossible, and useless, when you describe the simple function of what is happening when someone is “moving” an object with his or her mind. Humans will evolve to develop something we might call “micro-Telekinesis” (mT)—the act of consciously controlling the basic elements of the universe.
The concept of micro-Telekinesis does not present the simple idea of ESP, or Macro-Telekinesis, where one can simply move objects, open doors, push buttons, etc. It presents as idea where a person can consciously control and manipulate the fundamental particles that all matter in the universe is constructed of. Imagine the chair that you are sitting in and think about the truth about this chair. The chair is simply a representation of something that we call physical, but in fact is just a bunch of particles all interacting with each other. Even the particles that you are made of are interacting with each other and the chair so that it seems like you are sitting on the chair. Now consciously change the structure of the particles in the chair so that they represent a bed. That doesn’t seem impossible, especially because they are “made” of the same basic material items—wood, fabric, metal, and plastic. But get up from the chair and change the structure of the particles so that they represent a dog. This seems impossible, but they are all the same fundamental particles. No different that what the air is made of or the most complex living organism. What basis do we have to think that a person’s consciousness could manipulate or even have an effect on the fundamental particles?
The study of quantum mechanics has given us the concept of Wave-Particle Duality. Through a series of experiments with fundamental particles physicists achieve two different results when propelling particles through a two-slit barrier. Expecting the fundamental particle to act as other matter but it produces an unexpected result. The fundamental particle acts like a wave resulting in incidentals. When we add a device to observe what the particles are doing to achieve such a result the particles act like we originally expected, with no incidentals. The outcome of these experiments allow us to draw the conclusion that conscious observation interferes with the action of the particle and collapses its wave function, causing it to act as normal matter. The correlation of consciousness to the Wave-Particle Duality paradigm can be applied to all matter.
The fundamental theory of physics states that all matter is composed of just a few fundamental particles. Whether we are looking at a building, an animal, a person’s physical bodies, or base elements—everything is based on the same particles. This would mean that if you can manipulate the particles in one object, you could manipulate the same particle in another object. When you take this basic principle into account with the results of the Wave-Duality particle experiments, you can conclude that consciousness could affect any fundamental particle.
The concept of mT gains support as we look to history. We are presented with a story of a man named Jesus who was reported to have walked through walls and ascended into the sky at will. If we take on faith that his body was in fact resurrected from the dead and he achieved the perfection of the physical body, then we assume that he is the final product of evolution. We can conclude that Jesus had the knowledge and full ability to control the fundamental elements of the universe. He could align them perfectly so that he could “pass” through walls and cause them to “defy gravity” and make his body “ascend into heaven.”
In addition, there is also evidence in the medical community for the evolution of the mind to control our own physical bodies. There are many examples of people who are born with an abnormality that allows them to consciously and effortlessly control their autonomic nervous system. This is the involuntary part of the nervous system that controls systems like the heart, liver, eyes, and many other bodily functions. These men and women have reported the ability to consciously control their heart rates at will, dropping them and raising them to dangerous rates without any physical manipulation—such as breathing techniques or adrenal stimulation. They have also reported being able to dilate and constrict their pupils at will. This medical evidence gives us reason to believe that we are evolving the ability to control our own bodies with our consciousness. Taking into account that all physical matter is fundamentally the same, it seems that evolution will take another leap to allow the conscious control of all fundamental elements inside and outside the body.
Some people might say that this ability of controlling matter at its fundamental level and in some comparable sense to have “a power like god” would cause a severe moral problem. William Malas, computer-engineering undergraduate at Eastern Nazarene College, would argue that if people had this micro-telekinesis they would have uncontrollable power to do bad things. A person with malicious intent could cause property damage, manipulate nature, destroy another person’s physical body, and even to the point of manipulating the universe to a point of self-destruction. It is inconceivable that a person could have the ability to manipulate the universe.
However, the argument against micro-telekinesis presented by Malas is one of moral standing and does not undercut its plausibility. There is no scientific evidence to argue against mT. The moral argument is simply stating that having such ability would be bad for the world if men of bad moral character had such ability. Malicious intent is not grounds for disqualifying nuclear reaction and the fact that it can be used for producing energy or destroying life. It simply cannot disqualify any scientific argument. From a theological point of view, the Malas argument seems to have some standing, but it can be overcome with the Christian doctrine of the resurrection and the perfection of the physical. If the Christian belief is true, then the Parousia will bring forth a state of perfection in every believer’s body to be a “copy” of Christ. People would have “evolved” to both have the ability and knowledge to consciously control matter. This would also take care of the moral argument, because after the Parousia the world will be in a state of peace and people will not have malicious intent.
Looking through history and the evolution of man, we see that humans are constantly evolving to a better and more perfected state of being. The ability to consciously control matter has merits engrained in the fundamentals of physics and biology. Whether through natural evolution of the human body or supernatural causes, man could gain the ability to move matter with his mind.
May 2015, Gordon College