'Some physicists, including Eugene Wigner and Roger Penrose, have toyed with the idea that a measurement requires an observer and that it is the consciousness of the observer that causes the collapse (which then begs the question of whether a snail, say, has enough consciousness to collapse a wave function).'

This is an instance in which the hegemonic, atheist paradigm seems to be an obstacle to the advancement of scientific understanding. The consciousness of a snail or any non-human animal would be of a different kind to that of a human being, which is evidently unique. I believe Eugene Wigner established in more than one way that we have a special place in the universe.

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