Physics Enforces a New Paradigm; Does God Play Dice with Destiny?

C.W. Rietdijk, D. Sc.


The key word of science, of evolution, of history, of art and of human destiny is coherence.


I  Physical Laws Make the World More Orderly by Being Four-Dimensional

1. Many people feel that both the physical world – such as micro-processes and biological evolution – and our personal destiny come about chaotically to a major degree.

2. They do so mainly on account of three starting points:

(a) The indeterminist and probabilistic laws of quantum mechanics (QM);
(b) The “free will” that is assumed to (co-)define many outcomes in the psycho-physical world;
(c) The circumstance that, if two or more causal chains are separately causally defined, the result of their possible “chance meeting” may still as such
be coincidental. That is, if two cars follow their own causally defined paths, their possible collision – though it is causally defined too – does not as such follow from any physical order of things as governed by natural law, even aside from any part played by the “free will” of the drivers and by quantum-mechanical “fundamental uncertainties”.

3. We pretend to have refuted all starting points of 1. and 2. above by a number of physical demonstrations and a concomitant theory (for more details and references see Sect. 6.1):

(a) A number of demonstrations from the Special Theory of relativity to the effect that what is future for me can be past for another observer, so that it cannot but be as defined as the past can be. This refutes the “fundamental uncertainty” of QM and its “new way of thinking”.
(b) Demonstrations of retroaction which embody that – within the “uncertainty margins” of QM – also the future co-defines the present, thus completing “traditional” causality that acts from the past. But retroaction acts in a negative direction as to time. Note that such “influence” from the future is no longer paradoxical because of the realistic nature of the future on account of the demonstrations indicated in (a).
(c) This means that – past and future casting their causal and retroactive shadows after and before, respectively – there is a mutual interaction
of their influences. That is, inter alia, not only effects or outcomes are (co-)defined by causes, but causes are co-defined retroactively by effects too. Or, physical law, and not only physical existence, is four-dimensional in a realistic sense. This also implies that in the case of the two cars some four-dimensional interaction between causal and retroactive influences will decide as to a possible crash, not merely causal influences that are “blind” as regards their consequences. This amounts to that the four-dimensional laws will decide whether or not a crash fits in the ordered four-dimensional pattern or structure P of events that constitutes the universe. This decision is no longer a question of playing dice. Neither are evolution and our personal destinies. See also 8. below.

4. One among the ideas of our theory is that everything in nature that is left “open” by causality – think of the “uncertainty margins” of QM – is defined as yet by retroaction (in a “feedback” interaction with causality). In such capacity, retroaction is nothing else but Einstein’s hidden variable (HV) that, in his opinion, determines what QM does not.

5. The gist of the above, that indeed boils down to a change of paradigm, is the idea that, just as one cause can have many mutually coherent effects, four-dimensional physical laws are of such nature that, conversely, retroaction from some effect (outcome) may result in a coordination of relevant causes so as to amount to their “orchestration” of coherence (to some degree) that is attuned to the effect in question. In this way the four-dimensional natural laws of which causality and retroaction are aspects or “components” “find out” whether or not the crash mentioned earlier fits in pattern P of 3. above that corresponds to such four-dimensional laws.
        Crashes, wars, injustice, and evolutionary results often indeed seem to make little sense from our human point of view, but the above strongly indicates that at least “there is some system, or order due to laws, in the madness”. “Chance meetings” of “independent” causal developments are no longer pure accidents but obey laws that “select” the outcomes as to their fitting in four-dimensional pattern P and its micro-, meso- and macro-architecture that may show deep coherence or not, but in any case differs from playing dice.

6. The foregoing does not imply that life and the world have a meaning but still brings us nearer to such a position. For if many processes are “fundamentally uncertain”, or if mutually independent causal influences often interact by mere coincidence, “God is playing dice with us” in important respects, without any meaning can be associated with such game.
        But if the demonstrations indicated above, and corresponding arguments, are correct, there is at least the possibility
of some coherent order in what happens, so that we can speak of a meaning of our experiences: our lives are also coherent in what comes to us from outside.

II  More Order by the Non-Local Character of Hidden Variables; “Orchestration” and the Enigma of Consciousness

7. J.S. Bell demonstrated that hidden variables that fill in deterministically the uncertainty margins of QM – if they (the HV) appear at all – cannot but have a non-local character. (See Ref. 14 of Sect. 6.1.; in Refs. 15, 21 and 23 we proved that such non-local HV indeed appear.) That is, in some cases the filling in by a HV of the precise value of observable A within its uncertainty margin co-depends on how – at a space-like or time-like distance – observable B is filled in precisely within its own margin. It is already clear a priori that if, say, all “uncertainty margins” referring to momentum would be filled in randomly (and, therefore, mutually independently), conservation of momentum would no longer hold.

8. Discussing Fig. 2 of Sect. 6.1 we give a specimen of how causal and retroactive influences can cooperate so as to jointly explain a variant of Young’s double-slit interference experiment.
        In the last resort, both non-locality and its contribution to the coherence of the world have their origin in the four-dimensional character of natural law. For this character means that physical relations and the order they imply refer to four-dimensional events or processes rather than three-dimensional objects. For example, the car crash mentioned earlier should fit in pattern P and its architecture as a whole, which covers more than merely local causes and causal chains that witness chance meetings. Actually, P as four-dimensional pattern of events, that shows order and coherence, implies that besides local causality there are four-dimensional symmetries or (in our three-dimensional language) “influences” such as non-local retroaction (satisfying Bell non-locality) that imply more order than mere causality from past via present to future corresponds with.
        All of this leads to a fundamentally new feature, i.e. that merely local influences and laws cannot produce P’s (macro-)architecture, no more than local influences among bricks, pipes, planks etcetera can coordinate the building up of a house. Some higher-level natural laws are needed. (In the case of the house it is those acting in the brain of the architect.) The architecture of P is part and parcel of the complex of four-dimensional laws that order events to non-local symmetries such as featured by conservation and by the non-local aspects of retroaction.
         The foregoing implies that four-dimensional laws that order P coherently so as to give evidence of non-local properties (that, inter alia
, appear in conservation, in Bell non-locality such as with EPR, and in retroaction) which show a feature of non-local “orchestration” of, say, various fillings-in by the retroactive HV’s. That is, fillings-in of uncertainty margins at mutually distant space-time locations. Within this scope, local events should always reckon with the question whether they correctly fit in macro-symmetries and macro-patterns that are inherent in four-dimensional natural laws that result in P. (Compare here both Bohr’s “A micro-process constitutes a whole” and Einstein’s “God does not play dice”.)
        The above strongly suggests a more coherent world, evolution and human destiny than corresponds with mere local-causal natural laws. This will also change the basis of philosophy. The “orchestration” suggests an
additional dimension of order; or, an additional degree of freedom for nature. Below, we will see a vital relation with the concept of consciousness.

9. In two recent papers in Physics Essays (Refs. 1 and 2) the idea of “orchestrated” fillings-in – non-locally coordinated filling in of a (large) number of quantum uncertainty margins via cooperation of causal and retroactive influences, that is, by such influences’ feedback – has been applied for an in principle explanation of the phenomenon of consciousness. Our explanation is based on three guided hypotheses:

(a)At his experiencing one or more Aha-Erlebnisse
in discovering Relativity, Einstein “qualitatively” witnessed in his brain a similar natural process as a micro-process does if all its components (particles, fields,…) correctly interact according to the relevant physical laws. Mind that in such process various participating components and their influences should recognize each other in order to act according to these laws. Such recognition (Aha-Erlebnis), we hypothesize, is the essence of ”elementary consciousness”. Elementary consciousness should anyhow be located somewhere in natural processes; we chose the recognition in question because of recognition’s intuitive similarity to consciousness such as in Einstein’s experienc.
(b) Living organisms (such as Einstein’s) discriminate themselves from inorganic matter (stones,…) by their peculiarity or faculty of integrating (to some degree) into “larger units” of the elementary consciousnesses of their component processes, such as those in relevant brains and other organs.
(c) It is a feature of natural processes that imply Aha-Erlebnisse
or consciousness (that is, of living organisms) – on an elementary or more advanced level – that they imply ordered non-local retroaction (HV) amounting to the coordination (“orchestration”) of many fillings-in of uncertainty margins. They are in a position to coordinate some or many relevant fillings-in, say, of uncertainty margins in our arm and shoulder so as to make this amount to such precise values of physical variables and their mutual attuning that a certain desired movement of the arm is the consequence.

10. The theory summarized in 9. radically differs from current ones such as based on the idea that according to computers getting more and more complicated and intelligent, they will “logically and automatically” become conscious too. Neither leaves my theory any room for “free will”: in the first place it demonstrates the future to be deterministically defined – by its mere pre-existence – and in the second place it is four-dimensional natural law (that integrates causal and retroactive influences) which defines all processes, our “free” decisions included. The latter too should fit in pattern P rather than being defined “non-physically”.
        In Refs. 1 and 2 it is also demonstrated that our theory leaves room for paranormal phenomena (psychokinesis, precognition, striking coincidence,…) by calling on retroaction and non-locality that obey coherent physical laws
. Two focal points in this context are:

(a) Why would causal
influences obey coherent physical laws but retroactive influences would not?
(b) Paranormal phenomena are those which, in spite of their showing some order on the psychological level, cannot be explained by mere causal
laws. The answer of our theory to this situation is the following. If causal influences and local physical laws cannot explain possible paranormal phenomena (they can neither explain non-local physical phenomena such as in the paradox of Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen: EPR), the simplest solution is our trying and explaining them by retroaction and the physical laws referring to four-dimensional order.

11. In Refs. 1 – 3 we also discuss super-individual coherence on the level of consciousness, such as a possible collective unconscious or “group minds”. Again, the general tendency is: more coherence (also of the organic kind) and less coincidence in nature. In Ref. 3 we also extend the idea of “survival of the fittest” (SF) from biological evolution to the levels of micro-processes and the universe’s macro-evolution. We find a vital four-dimensional aspect of it (of SF) that causes its results to be less dependent on coincidence than according to current conceptions. In the four-dimensional context, SF and its results should rather be seen within the scope of an “organic” feedback of causes and effects. That is, they are more coherent – defined by physical law – than in the current three-dimensional picture co-characterized by randomness.
        The above means one more instance of the four-dimensionally realistic nature of the physical universe and its laws to imply more order
, even with respect to the relations of causes and effects (feedbacks between them!) and as to events and their relations in general (think of P’s architecture). The causal relations among three-dimensional objects are only an aspect of a more comprehensive four-dimensional coherence. (So are retroactive influences and relations.)
        In a general sense – from biological evolution to micro-processes and collective unconscious phenomena – the above contains that outcomes no less than causes have a function (in P) in
their own right, i.e. by acting retroactively and by having to fit in the symmetries and non-local four-dimensional architecture of P. (Again compare the earlier-mentioned house.) The relevant laws require more than causal influences from the past. Also keep noting that, four-dimensionally-statically, “influences” should be understood in the sense in which the foundations of the house have influence on the rest of it. Also mind that in a broad sense the “orchestration” or coordination of the fillings-in of many uncertainty margins, as we hypothesized in consciousness, adds a “creative dimension” to natural law.

12. One feature of our physical theory is that a quantum concept as “the influence of an observer (i.e. his/her instrument)” on the measurement results can easily be explained by retroaction from the measuring process on earlier stages of the object of measurement.
        More generally, “subjective” aspects of phenomena – such as consciousness, “free will”, creativity, moral and other values – are relocated, in our theory and model of the world, into subtle coherence of natural law that, for example, coordinatedly guided Newton’s hand so as to cause him write the Principia
. In all, the relevant non-local coherence means an extension of simpler non-local correlations such as with EPR and in wave-particle “duality”.

13. Non-local retroaction and feedback that, inter alia, cause influences of the measurement process on the object, precisely embody the factor that restores coherent determinism in nature. This (partly) puts both Einstein and Bohr in the right: “God does not play dice” as well as “A micro-process constitutes a whole”. Leaving out such retroaction etcetera, and also the action metric discussed in Sect. 6.1 (which metric explains EPR and other quantum non-locality), is responsible for QM’s meeting with paradoxes in trying to construct coherent models.
        Actually, the world is less
dependent on coincidence and more orderly coherent than even Classical Physics thought, precisely because of the non-local determinism and feedbacks consistent argument on both relativity and micro-processes forces upon us. (Compare again Sect. 6.1, especially Sub-sects. 1 and 2.)

14. My five demonstrations of four-dimensional realism and four proofs of retroaction are far from so difficult that this might explain the relative silence around them. Rather, the latter should be explained by some emotional taboo around the demonstrations on account of their radical “heretical” consequences for “free will”, “fundamental uncertainty”, “the new way of thinking of QM” and human destiny. See also on Internet <Rietdijk-Putnam-Penrose argument>, <Rietdijk-Putnam argument> and <Andromeda Paradox>.


1. C.W. Rietdijk, Consciousness and the coherence of natural law, Physics Essays, Vol. 19, No. 2 (2006), pp. 200-224.

2. Ibid
. Four-dimensional physics, non-local coherence, and paranormal phenomena, Vol. 20, No. 2 (2007).

3. Four-dimensional realism and understandable models, submitted to Physics Essays

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