Here’s something to hold us over until I get a better handle on Penrose’s argument for consciousness from gravity.
If we think about geometrical concepts, e.g., circles, squares, or hyperspheres, we notice that they are, first of all, imaginary and second, perfect. These imaginary objects do not change, do not move, they are static, localized, timeless figures. In a sense, they are eternal. Conversely, natural, or real physical geometries are not perfect; they are dynamic, they move and change, form and decay, constantly, chaotically, some more slowly (i.e., stars, galaxies, etc.) and some more quickly (i.e., uranium atoms, weather patterns, plants, etc.). This reflects the biblical concept of the Fall, not only of humanity, but of the entire universe – that the state of existence in which we find ourselves is one of alienation and contingency, a probabilistic reality and not an absolute one.
Our ability to conceive these perfect geometrical objects is a spiritual ability, and one must agree that the great mathematicians were obviously inspired. They themselves admit that their insights are of God (e.g., Einstein). This makes them prophets in a sense, seers of the mysteries of reality, leading us toward an understanding, a communication with God through an understanding of the universe. In order to reach these pure geometrical forms, to touch them, we must enter their realm, the realm of perfection, of unchangeability, of timelessness, spacelessness, stillness.
The realm exists and is shown to exist by mathematical language which describes reality. Mathematics has been demonstrated to describe reality by the technological advances and scientific discoveries of the last century or two especially. So science supports the biblical assertion of a realm of perfection which really, physically exists in higher dimensions. Science also posits and even calculates the enormous amount of energy required to realize this realm.
It seems as though the biblical writers, the ancient prophets, received information, often in the form of mental images or of words, of a unified universe that exists eternally, right now. Somehow it is imminent and present, as God is imminent and present, only we, or most of us, cannot see it. I believe we are only blinded by our perspective, the way we look at things, or have been taught, conditioned, to look at the world – and in talk of dimension, perspective is the appropriate word. For instance, take the blindness of Aristotle and Ptolemy to the fourth dimension – time/location, or timespace. We had to wait 2000 years for Einstein, et.al. They could have discovered it but they put on blinders, in effect, blinding everyone else who followed their creed of 3D space.
In recent science, we discover the higher symmetries of reality in the mathematics of theoretical physics, such as the 5D symmetry of spacetime/matter-energy of general relativity, or the symmetry of the wave theory of the universe with the 0 cosmological constant, i.e., that infinite universes with infinite wormhole connections magically “turns into” a 0 cosmological constant in 10D space, and that rather than there being 10^100 times the observed amount of excess radiation appearing in the vacuum (the expected amount based on symmetry-breaking equations), there is none! Kaku calls this “magical”, one of the most astounding symmetries discovered to date. Then there are the symmetries of string theory, in which both gravity and quantum mechanics “turn into” each other in 10/26D space, or that certain modular functions reflect the numbers 10 and 24(+2) – the exact number of necessary dimensions for a field theory of gravity.
Add to these astounding correlations the fact that string theory was discovered “by accident”, or “too early”, that the equations cannot be solved, that modular functions were given to a child in his dreams (see Kaku, Hyperspace, pp. 172-4: “Srinivasa Ramanujan was the strangest man in all of mathematics, probably in the entire history of science. He has been compared to a bursting supernova, illuminating the darkest, most profound corners of mathematics…Working in total isolation from the main currents of his field, he was able to rederive 100 years’ worth of Western mathematics on his own…Ramanujan used to say that the goddess of Namakkal inspired him with the formulae in dreams.”), that the solution to Einstein’s gravity equation was given as if by answer to prayer by an obscure scholar using Reimann’s field equations in 5D, equations which had been ignored for 60 years – that the most beautiful equations ever seen by theoretical mathematicians, the general theory of relativity, were revealed conceptually and not discovered experimentally! – and we begin to see that even scientists are discovering some disturbing, coincidental, almost mystical emergences of answers to questions that cannot be proven, even though they appear to be right both intuitively and by mathematical “beauty” or correlation or “simplicity and elegance.” The string field equations cannot be solved and yet, there they are!
How do scientists explain this? Well, they don’t, and some won’t even acknowledge the equations of string theory because they feel they are an affront to science itself – not being provable, either by math or by experiment – i.e., the Plank length at 10^-35 m contains too much power to ever be “explored”, the 10th dimension is a realm of infinite power/energy – we can’t see it and we can’t go there, or the 10D field equations are too complex, infinite in length, and cannot be solved to a degree of certainty.
Thus we find that science does not adequately explain reality by its own standards, that is, by experiment, observation or theoretical or mathematical proof. Scientific speculation is fraught with belief systems, hypotheses, theories and models which science itself admits do not adequately or completely explain the phenomena it observes in the universe. In short, the problem of science can be epitomized by the question, “If science has explained reality, why is there still science?”