201. Chaos Theory Pioneer Ralph Abraham On a New Model of Consciousness


Interview with chaos theory pioneer Dr. Ralph Abraham offers new insights into how a chaotic model of consciousness might work.

Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Dr. Ralph Abraham.  During the interview Abraham discusses how chaos theory might impact how we think about consciousness:

Alex Tsakiris:   Chaos theory presents a lot of problems for science when it comes to measurement, which is really the nuts-and-bolts of science.

Ralph Abraham:  Right. In other words, if you know the state of the world exactly, well almost exactly, with a slight error, then you cannot make a long-term predictions. So we don’t know about global climate warming, for example. The basis of these mathematical models are chaotic in this technical sense.  So, conceivably the flap of a butterfly wing could make a huge difference in the prediction of the model long-term.

Now as we take this kind of mathematical model for complex systems upstairs into the realm of consciousness, then obviously consciousness has a lot of parts. For one thing, if you think of the individual consciousness of six billion people on the planet being somehow netted together through communication by reading, writing, cell phones, the internet, etc. into a complex system, then obviously, that complex system is going to have very chaotic behavior.

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