Quantum realism proposes that the quantum world is real on its own terms and it creates the physical world we see, just as a video game creates a reality that isn’t real in itself. It isn’t The Matrix movie idea that another physical world is creating ours because even computing one electron wave function that can spread over a galaxy then collapse to any point in it is beyond any physical computer. Only quantum processing has the power to output the physical reality we see. Nor is it that we are dreaming because if I am dreaming you then you don’t exist, leading to the solipsism that only I exist.
In quantum realism, you and I are real and the physical world is just an interface, so there is a real world out there but it isn’t the one you see. What you see is a virtual reality that represents a physical world that isn’t real in itself so the observer and the observed are real but the observation is virtual.
Quantum realism is a monism like physical realism except now the only reality is quantum. It is based on quantum theory, that physical events arise when quantum waves interact. The interaction is mutual, so when we observe a photon, it also “observes” us, as evidenced by the observer effect in physics. Unlike solipsism, this theory is universal, so a tree can’t fall in a forest unseen because the ground it hits “sees” it.
One can compare the reality options in computer game terms as follows:
- Physical realism. A game running itself with no-one in charge.
- Dualism. A game running itself with the programmer struggling to regain control.
- Solipsism. A single player game that exists only for one person.
- Quantum realism. A massively multi-player game where every photon is a “player”.
Figure 1.2 compares the reality candidates based on Wheeler’s universal observing eye, which depicts a self-observing universe. In physical realism, a physical reality somehow observes itself, although matter has no ability at all to observe. In dualism, a higher reality observes the physical, although it is never explained how two different realities can co-exist. In quantum realism, quantum reality observes itself by the virtual interface we call physical reality, as it is inherently able to observe
In sum, physical realism allows only physical reality dualism allows both physical and non-physical realities at once, and quantum realism allows only quantum reality as the physical world is a virtual reality. Let us now evaluate these options based on science not bias.