Most attacks on the possibility of dualist interaction cite the conservation of energy as a definitive objection. I have attempted to investigate the validity of this objection, and have found a number of reasons to reject it. One is that laws are just regularities, not absolutes, and Physics often finds itself discovering violations of "laws". One example of this being postulated for Conservation of energy is here: https://physicsworld.com/a/dark-energy-emerges-when-energy-conservation-is-violated/ Further, the violation of conservation of energy is not only possible in theory, it is actually predicted by Gauge Symmetry: https://www.pnas.org/content/93/25/14256 It has also been observed in Time Crystals: https://www.space.com/38100-the-significance-of-time-crystals.html So conservation of energy is not inviolable -- but these are small, and rare/exotic exceptions that still leaves open whether it could plausibly be violated on a regular basis in dualist interactionism.

The Big Bang, and creation of all of matter, if they violate conservation of energy, seem to suggest that macro-level violations of energy conservation are less of a concern per physics. But there has been recent claims that the creation of all of matter is a Zero Energy process, and the total energy of our universe is zero. If this is the case, then the possibility of matter creation in synapses to trigger and Eccles interaction process between spirit and brain could possibly be a zero energy event, and would be another alternative to violating conservation of energy. I am asking if the implications of the Zero Energy Hypothesis would justify an energy-conserving interaction phenomenon.

The Zero Energy Hypothesis is, to my layman's understanding, that the gravitational field balances the positive energy of matter, such that the universe is in overall energy balance. This hypothesis is cited to argue that Infinite Inflation in a Multiverse does not violate conservation of energy.
It is this simple statement of the hypothesis that triggered my question, as it implies that all matter creation will be in energy balance, not just special cases near a singularity in time.

Understanding the Zero Energy Hypothesis is important for understanding its extendibility to synapses. It appears that the Zero Energy Hypothesis is not universally accepted to be true. These first two Quora answers claim that energy conservation is just a local principle, and do not apply to a global system like the universe. https://www.quora.com/How-does-an-infinite-universe-not-violate-conservation-of-energy-and-imply-the-existence-of-infinite-energy The answers to this SE question agree that, between symmetry breaking, exceptions to locality, and states where energy is not really definable -- our universe does not satisfy energy conservation. But this is not the last word on the subject -- several of these Quora answers focus on how time invariance does not apply in the early universe, hence Noether's criteria for energy conservation is not met. Others note that we don't know the dark energy content of space, hence we can't even calculate whether this could be true or not. Yet others point out that assuming it is satisfied anyway seems to match our observed universe -- hence many physicists accept the Zero Energy Hypothesis as a very close approximation. And yet others assert absolutely that it is true of our universe. https://www.quora.com/Does-the-law-of-conservation-of-energy-hold-at-the-largest-scale-of-the-universe. Sean Carroll has an interesting take, that all of these processes (expansion, dark energy, mass creation) interact with space-time, and if we treat space-time and energy as a couple, then some other term can be conserved in each of these interactions, even if energy doesn't really apply to much of the space-time response. Carroll then says "no" to energy conservation, but he does hold by more general conservation rules applying anyway, despite the non-locality, and the time non-symmetry. https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2010/02/22/energy-is-not-conserved/

This diversity of opinion on the Zero Energy Hypothesis left me a bit uncertain on extrapolating from it. But if I take what appears to be an averaged answer:

  • Conservation of Energy is not properly definable in the early universe, and we don't even know the values of all the terms needed for it to be true
  • But despite that, assuming conservation of a related term ends up getting very close to how our universe is, so even if wrong, the assumption is usefully close to reality

then I THINK that this "approximate" Zero Energy Hypothesis supports a zero energy interaction process. I think this, because the only consequences noted from the special features of the early universe, were reason why energy conservation was ill-defined -- there were no special cases noted why early universe conditions were essential for why mass creation in the early universe was plausibly energy neutral. Hence I infer that mass creation in a late universe is plausibly also energy neutral.

As a further example of similar phenomena being accepted by physics -- the Steady State Model postulated a low matter creation rate across space, where protons would appear out of nowhere. I believe when this was proposed, it was expected to violate conservation of energy, but per the Zero Energy Model of negative gravity countering positive mass -- I suspect this too would be a zero energy process.

So, repeating this question -- does the increasing acceptance of the Zero Energy Hypothesis in at least an approximate form, lead to accepting that proton creation in the steady state model, or synapse triggering through mass creation in the Eccles model of dualist interaction, would also be zero energy processes?


With further research, I have what I think is the answer, but I welcome other posters to correct or clarify.

The starting point to answering this is that the Zero Energy Hypothesis is wrong. This is because energy is not conserved in GR, nor in any cosmology with time history evolution. Two links that explain this: http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/GR/energy_gr.html https://motls.blogspot.com/2010/08/why-and-how-energy-is-not-conserved-in.html. This point is argued in the Physics SE answers to the Zero Energy Hypothesis claim: Is the total energy of the universe zero? I note there is dispute between the answers provided, most notably this paper: https://www.prespacetime.com/index.php/pst/article/view/81/73, but the "no" answer appears to represent physics consensus.

However, the methods by which the Zero Energy Hypothesis have been argued are informative. Basically, they redefine energy, to an "energy" term, which under some special cases can be conserved. Hoyle did something very similar with his Steady State Universe hypothesis, so that spontaneous creation of protons would not violate "energy" conservation. Does the fact that energy is not conserved in cosmology open the possibility of new matter/atoms being created in the universe?

Interactive substance dualism generally assumes that space-time is not a closed system, hence neither energy, nor "energy" would be conserved in an interaction event. However, a variant of the Hoyle approach could involve redefining "space-time" and the interaction such that the source of interactive causation is postulated to be within an expanded concept of "spacetime" -- a "c-field" in which the "c" includes consciousness. In such a formulation, both causal closure and "energy" conservation might be possible, however again this would involve using pseudo-tensors and special case assumptions which are not generalizable.


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