Michio Kaku talks about what consciousness is and better ways to measure intelligence that might be more predictive of success in life. Professor Kaku also considers mankind’s place in the multiverse. These deep philosophical discussions shed light on the human condition.
Michio Kaku starts the first video below by explaining his string theory as it relates to the multiverse. Michio believes mankind lives in a multiverse that marries the ideas of Buddhism, which believes the world always existed with the theory presented in Genesis that the world was created at a single point in time.
Michio Kaku says both can be correct. It is believed the universe had a moment when it all began. However, Michio believes the Universe is not alone. There are multiple universes, and many likely predate our own. These universes are like bubbles in a huge bubble bath which Michio Kaku explains is an 11-dimensional hyperspace.
Hyperspace has 11 dimensions. That means there is a lot more to reality than up, down, left, and right. Even more than time plus three-dimensional space. It’s far more complex than all that, according to Michio Kaku.
God exists outside of time as if he were a man sitting in a bubble bath, says Michio Kaku. Each of the bubbles has its own time, but God, as the creator of it all, would be outside of any timeline. So, from this rather whimsical analogy, we get the serious message that while earth is in a single bubble, together with this entire universe, God is outside of all the bubbles, and therefore, outside of time.
Michio Kaku discusses the properties of consciousness in the second video from the 14-minute mark to the 33-minute mark. Michio says there are three stages of consciousness.
“There really are three stages of consciousness. There is a consciousness that understands our position in space. A second level of consciousness which understands our position with respect to other people, emotions, social hierarchy, politeness, etiquette, and third predicting the future.”
Michio Kaku doesn’t mean predictive abilities like prophecy or gazing into a crystal ball, he means being able to see multiple outcomes of any given situation, with an understanding of all the variables, and choosing the best course of action to optimize the situation.
Michio Kaku has defined consciousness.
“Consciousness is the process of creating multiple feedback loops to create a model of yourself in space, with regard to others and in time in order to satisfy certain goals.”
Professor Michio Kaku explains the reptilian brain handles the spatial understanding, and thus matches the first level of consciousness. This type of thinking is located in the Medulla in the back of the brain. The midbrain is related to interactions with others and corresponds with the second level of consciousness.
The frontal cortex is predictive and concerned about the future and planning. That relates to Michio Kaku’s third level of consciousness. The third level requires the ability to predict outcomes and plan for future events.
Levels of consciousness and the number of feedback loops may be a better predictor of intelligence than an IQ test. Michio Kaku says if he created an IQ test, it would require calculating scenarios, rather than answering academic questions. Perhaps being able to plan a simulated spy mission or bank robbery might prove intelligence more than academics.
To put people in “strange environments” and have them “calculate realistic scenarios” could be the real measure of intellect. Michio Kaku says sometimes people with low IQs are good at seeing the future, and thus function well. Sometimes lower IQ individuals do well with finding escape plans in various scenarios.
Michio Kaku considers the Hameroff – Penrose Theory of Quantum Consciousness. Kaku disagrees with the idea the human mind is like a computer and that brains are programmed in a way that is deterministic of our behavior. Humans have free will. Though the theory of Quantum Consciousness has substantial merit, Professor Kaku is certain that humans have free will in most circumstances.
Even so, Michio Kaku wonders if some impulses might be so powerful in some human beings they could interfere with free will in certain situations. Kaku concludes that the aspect of blame, or fault, lies outside of science.
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Michio Kaku in exploring the ideas of consciousness thought and multi-dimensional space in the videos above.
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/AP Images and Agsandrew/Shutterstock]