Extra dimenions have provided escapes into fantasy with things such as the warp drive, psychic communication, where gravity goes, where dark energy comes from and plethora more.
The idea is that in a higher dimension to which we are not physically sensitive as humans there may be connections between far seperate points in space or there may be matter lurking which we cannot detect. More excitingly they could even explain consciousness with some extra property of mind existing in a higher dimension which essentially survives after we die and explains neatly all those near death experiences and psychic communication. Yet can we believe these?
The answer is that the jury is still out. We are testing for the existence of extra dimension in places like CERN where a characteristic missing energy signal would indicate the presence of one extra dimension according to Randal-Sundrum theory. This is a modest number with other searches taking place to test for string theory with a grand eleven dimensions. Using Occam’s raxor I suspect Randall-sundrum is closer to the truth.
As for the necessity of an extra dimension to explain consciusness well this will most likely be decided by the development of AI.Theoretical underpinning of consciusness are slowly developing with certain critera beyond the Turing test qualifying consciousness. It seems that consciousness simply arisees out of complexity rather than residing in another dimension. In fact even if we do manage to make a seemingly sentient machine it will be impossible to detect if they are actually experiencing the world as we are or are just sufficiently complex to pass the Turing test. There is even a danger that we will create these autonomous beings and gradually upload into them in order to achieve immortality ut our friends and relatives won’t know if the machine is really experiencing or just responding appropriately. In this scenario we would eliminate consciousness by uploading and then it would die out.
However, the philosophical question remains that what truly exists without consciousness? Sure the animals would still be conscious but if the machines are anything like we are they would pollute the landscape and probably not even need oxygen so I suspect the animals would die out.
And where does God fit into this? Will we ever be able to prove the existence of God? With the latest breakthrough and the detection of gravitational waves we will be able to peer further back in time around the big bang (in a few decades). This will get us to closer to understanding the unmoved moves, the force or initial condition that led to our curret state. Will we be the consequence of an oscillating universe osccillating in infinity? Will the concept of time break down as we approach the beginning and negate any such questioning?
Time will tell. All in all it is an exciting timeto be alive. One of the mist convincing arguments I have heard for God existing is the path of least resistance. All systems reduce their energy and the argument goes back to the enlightenment that only a rational God could have set this up. A rational God who gave the universe such rules. Certainly theycan only be considered as happy coincidences which I recently heard from a Cambridge professor of materials. A preacher put it more elegantly, if he knwos all the rules (which we don’t) he can tweak where it is possible to tweak.
It’s all a very thorny issue.