so how would you say hello in your universe?
Meet senior researcher Daegene Song, who works at a notable South Korean university and whose ideas, or rather, grandiose press releases recently came to the attention of Orac. Our researcher is apparently about to enter the history books by proving that the entire universe as we know it is just a subjective experience and he’s got the math to prove it lest you think he’s one of those Huffington Post-style woo-meisters with a fetish for inserting buzzwords from quantum mechanics into their vacuous babble to substitute for an explanation. In fact, his press release devotes so much time to claiming that he’s not a New Age charlatan on quantum woo benders that the only phrase that came to my mind when I read his case for being invincible to post-modern crankery like biocentrism was “the lady doth protest too much, methinks.” Funny enough, his grand theory for the mechanics of the universe and our experience of it is basically biocentrism in a nutshell, the arrogant and self-aggrandizing notion that we’re literally the center of the universe and the cosmos exists by our whims.
Here’s the basic summation of where Song and his fellow woo-meisters in thought are going with this. When you’re born and observe the universe, whatever happens in it is subjective to you, and since it’s all about you, before you exist, neither does the universe. That means that the cosmos is essentially an amalgamation of a wide variety of subjective experiences of everyone who’s ever lived as seen from their unique point of view. Or something like that. It’s a really fuzzy and poorly explained idea which tends to get more and more vague and contradictory the deeper into it you try to go, and it’s really a very elaborate piece of post-modernist thought, or at least what seems to pass for thought in too many post-modernist circles, extending the idea that everything is just a subjective opinion to the universe itself. But for this sort of heady stuff to pass the scientific smell test and become a viable theory, it needs to explain such things as constants and mathematical relationships we constantly see around us. For example, we could figure out a planet’s gravity with a formula, then confirm it by landing spacecraft on it. If the landing goes without a hitch, does that mean that all the scientists, engineers, and managers involved in the project are sharing a reality where they got it right and someone else may exist in a reality where the spacecraft actually smashed into the ground and we got the gravity wrong?
Point is, eventually we need to narrow things down and figure out what’s right or wrong, and when we do, we tend to find that certain facts and figures always match what we expect no matter where we measure them, or differ by a factor we can mathematically predict and account for in our equations. Having a subjective universe should mean that GPS doesn’t work for you the same way it works for your friend and neither of you should be getting the same results as your parents when using your GPS devices. Breaking down objective reality could also let you insist that you didn’t do something you did or vice versa, claiming that you inhabit a universe that’s different from those who accuse you of say, stealing a car, and therefore, you should be let off the hook since in your universe you didn’t steal anything and the car they see is not the car you’re actually driving. Do you think that kind of novel defense would fly with the police? Sorry officer, you see, I live in a different universe where I’m not drunk and you didn’t pull me over, and so I’m just going to go home now because your subjective reality is infringing on my own? How high do you think the judge will set your bail and what will he use as justification? A reading from a breathalyzer or your meanderings about subjective realities? When an idea about the flow of space and time creates absurd scenarios on such a mundane and low level, it really doesn’t bode well for its higher brow implications which might include everything in existence.
I mean if Song proposes that the universe didn’t objectively exist before he was born, where was it? And from where did it come? Spawned by his consciousness, or from the consciousness of everybody on Earth? How did the universe change while he was a baby and had no conception of physics? Were the laws governing the force of gravity or inertia in constant flux as he studied them? And if the entire universe is only subjective, why bother learning about it? All our key facts, figures, and theories are based around just one objective reality, in which your perceptions play a role in how you see the universe, but they’re not an arbiter of its laws or causal chains. What sort of mathematics do you invent to demonstrate that the universe basically doesn’t exist until a particularly arrogant and self-centered person who deems himself to be the center of everything summons it into being with his thought alone? And how do you expect subjective mathematics to stand up to review? But then again this isn’t science. It’s just one of the breeds of self-aggrandizing woo that tries to present humans as demigods in waiting, with the capacity to open their eleventh eyes and vibrate twelve strings of DNA across their chakra’s energy waveforms so they can ascend to the ninth dimension. Or something like that.