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  Topic: A Voice from the Middle Ground, Simultaneous Posting from Telic Thoughts< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,08:49   

On October 4th, Paul Nelson and Michael Ruse are/were scheduled to have a debate for discussing what it would take for them to switch sides. Here is a link to Paul Nelson's announcement where he said "Michael Ruse and I are going to have a sort of un-debate." I am making the easy prediction of a non-outcome to the un-debate where the spin-masters on both sides will claim victory. This is my overt attempt at preempting with my un-spin to provoke thinking about the polarization that this represents. Allow me some hyperbola to illustrate the point; one extreme view would be to ask for the equivalent of the random assembly of a 747 from a pile of junk another extreme view would be to ask for the equivalent of an Intelligent Designer saying "I am" accompanied by a pyrotechnical display of local shrubbery.


In other words, the basic conflict is generally about randomness verses a designer.

There is a lot of ground between these two extremes. What would it take to convince both sides that a middle ground hypothesis that presumes neither randomness nor a designer is not only plausible but likely?

I have previously presented the concept that there is no such thing as randomness in a post titled The Magic of Intelligent Design. This post has appeared in Telic Thoughts and in After the Bar Closes. For a proposed design agency, I have offered the orchestrating properties of quantum effects generally outlined in the Penrose-Hameroff model called Orchestrated Objective Reduction or Orch OR for short.

What would it take to convince either side that quantum effects are interconnected?

How about seven decades of physicists performing experiments demonstrating non-local behavior and paradoxical behavior that can only be explained if nature is “entangled” at the quantum level?

What would it take to convince either side that life is directly dependent on quantum effects?

How about if respectable scientists at Berkeley lab reported something like…
Early in 2007 a team of Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley researchers identified quantum mechanical effects as the key to the astonishing ability of photosynthesis to utilize nearly all the photons absorbed by the leaves of green plants. Now a different team has found new evidence that points to a closely packed pigment-protein complex of the photosystem as the key to those quantum mechanical effects. …
How nature manages to pull off this stunt was a long-standing mystery until the spring of 2007, when a study led by Graham Fleming, Deputy Director of Berkeley Lab and a UC Berkeley chemistry professor, found the first direct evidence of what he calls a "remarkably long-lived wavelike electronic quantum coherence." Quantum-mechanical effects enable a plant's photosystem to simultaneously sample all the potential energy pathways from pigment molecules to reaction centers and choose the most efficient one.
link
…?

What would it take to convince either side that evolution is under the control of interconnected quantum effects?

What if it turned out the DNA search function is a quantum algorithm that requires quantum-like superposition?

From Patel's Quantum Algorithms and the Genetic Code…
Replication of DNA and synthesis of proteins are studied from the view-point of quantum database search. Identification of a base-pairing with a quantum query gives a natural (and first ever!) explanation of why living organisms have 4 nucleotide bases and 20 amino acids. It is amazing that these numbers arise as solutions to an optimisation problem. Components of the DNA structure which implement Grover’s algorithm are identified, and a physical scenario is presented for the execution of the quantum algorithm. It is proposed that enzymes play a crucial role in maintaining quantum coherence of the process.

From Patel's Towards Understanding the Origin of Genetic Languages…
The initial and final states of Grover’s algorithm are classical, but the execution in between is not. In order to be stable, the initial and final states have to be based on a relaxation towards equilibrium process. For the execution of the algorithm in between, the minimal physical requirement is a system that allows superposition of states, in particular a set of coupled wave modes.

There is more support for the possibility of life's direct dependence on interconnected quantum effects for functions like cellular awareness (i.e. consciousness) as an artifact of quantum computation in microtubules. "Bio-quantum physics" appears to be an emerging science. While it is still speculative, that is not the point.

The question is… What would it take to convince ID/Darwin extremists to agree on a scientific hypothesis that supports neither philosophical agenda?

BTW, a quantum mechanical explanation can be thought of as a tool of an intelligent designer just as much as the result of a non-teleological universe that occurred “randomly” from multiple universes. However, these are metaphysical concerns, not scientific ones.

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,08:56   

Tp asks
Quote
The question is… What would it take to convince ID/Darwin extremists to agree on a scientific hypothesis that supports neither philosophical agenda?

That's easy, tp. But you won't like the answer, since it caused you to run away from your other thread and start this one.

What would it take? Evidence. Data.

Got any?

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,09:35   

Hi Albatrossity2,

Have I got "any"?  yes.

Do I have "enough"? it depends

I don't have enough to prove my case.  This isn't unusual.  Science doesn't "prove" anything.

Do I have enough to justify something more than an automatic dismissal?

That is root of the question.  If you are going to dismiss this with the same contempt as you would "GodDidIt" then the ID proponents are right, you are focused on protecting Status Quo thinking (scientism?).

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,09:46   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 04 2007,09:35)
Hi Albatrossity2,

Have I got "any"?  yes.

Do I have "enough"? it depends

I don't have enough to prove my case.  This isn't unusual.  Science doesn't "prove" anything.

Do I have enough to justify something more than an automatic dismissal?

That is root of the question.  If you are going to dismiss this with the same contempt as you would "GodDidIt" then the ID proponents are right, you are focused on protecting Status Quo thinking (scientism?).

I'm listening. And no one expects you to "prove" anything. There is, however, an expectation that you can provide evidence (not inference, not speculation, but actual data) to support your hypothesis. On the other thread you provided none.

So I have to admit my expectations are not high here.

But I'm listening, as are others.

And please stow the insults about "scientism", whatever that is. Any scientist who was wedded to the status quo would be left in the dust almost immediately. You might appreciate (or not) this quote from CM Bowra - "Scientists are treacherous allies on committees, for they are apt to change their minds in response to arguments."

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,09:54   

Quote

The question is… What would it take to convince ID/Darwin extremists to agree on a scientific hypothesis that supports neither philosophical agenda?


I think something similar could have been said of Mendelism, between 1900 and 1930.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,10:02   

Quote

If you are going to dismiss this with the same contempt as you would "GodDidIt" then the ID proponents are right, you are focused on protecting Status Quo thinking (scientism?).


Ooops. Non sequitur.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,10:12   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 04 2007,08:49)
[T]he basic conflict is generally about randomness verses a designer.

Too many people get sidetracked by the word "randomness." It gives the wrong impression of what the theory of evolution (TOE) says. (Cf. the 'tornado in a junkyard' metaphor.)

In reality, much of what happens according to the TOE is decidedly non-random. The TOE merely holds (among other things) that there is no intended outcome, no external agency that guides evolution toward some prespecified goal.

Thus, I think it's more useful to say this conflict is about non-teleological versus teleological claims, or undirected versus directed outcomes.

 
Quote
There is a lot of ground between these two extremes. What would it take to convince both sides that a middle ground hypothesis that presumes neither randomness nor a designer is not only plausible but likely?

Adequate empirical evidence. E.g. TOE predicts X, ID predicts Y, your Third Choice (TC) predicts Z. Perform a study to determine which of X, Y, or Z is actually observed. If the results are Z & not-X & not-Y, that's evidence in support of TC.

All I've seen so far is arguments for why TC could be true. Even if I accepted those arguments as valid, that would merely establish TC as a possibility. It wouldn't be a reason to accept it.
Quote
I have previously presented the concept that there is no such thing as randomness in a post titled The Magic of Intelligent Design. This post has appeared in Telic Thoughts and in After the Bar Closes. For a proposed design agency, I have offered the orchestrating properties of quantum effects generally outlined in the Penrose-Hameroff model called Orchestrated Objective Reduction or Orch OR for short.

What would it take to convince either side that quantum effects are interconnected?

That's already scientifically accepted.
 
Quote
How about seven decades of physicists performing experiments demonstrating non-local behavior and paradoxical behavior that can only be explained if nature is “entangled” at the quantum level?

Yes, this is why quantum effects are accepted at the quantum level. This doesn't establish the degree of
interconnection required in your proposal. (Or in Penrose-Hameroff's, as best I can tell.)
 
Quote
What would it take to convince either side that life is directly dependent on quantum effects?

Given that life depends directly on chemistry, and quantum effects play an integral role in chemistry, this is already established as well.
 
Quote
What would it take to convince either side that evolution is under the control of interconnected quantum effects?

Adequate empirical evidence.
 
Quote
What if it turned out the DNA search function is a quantum algorithm that requires quantum-like superposition?

Even that were true, wouldn't support the claim the evolution is under the control of interconnected quantum effects.
 
Quote
From Patel's Quantum Algorithms and the Genetic Code…
Replication of DNA and synthesis of proteins are studied from the view-point of quantum database search. Identification of a base-pairing with a quantum query gives a natural (and first ever!) explanation of why living organisms have 4 nucleotide bases and 20 amino acids. It is amazing that these numbers arise as solutions to an optimisation problem. Components of the DNA structure which implement Grover’s algorithm are identified, and a physical scenario is presented for the execution of the quantum algorithm. It is proposed that enzymes play a crucial role in maintaining quantum coherence of the process.

From Patel's Towards Understanding the Origin of Genetic Languages…
The initial and final states of Grover’s algorithm are classical, but the execution in between is not. In order to be stable, the initial and final states have to be based on a relaxation towards equilibrium process. For the execution of the algorithm in between, the minimal physical requirement is a system that allows superposition of states, in particular a set of coupled wave modes.

As we discussed on the previous thread, at least some of Patel's proposals for how DNA replication might involve quantum superposition effects are clearly incompatible with known biochemistry. As far as I can tell, the rest are purely speculative at best.
Quote
There is more support for the possibility of life's direct dependence on interconnected quantum effects for functions like cellular awareness (i.e. consciousness) as an artifact of quantum computation in microtubules. "Bio-quantum physics" appears to be an emerging science. While it is still speculative, that is not the point.

The question is… What would it take to convince ID/Darwin extremists to agree on a scientific hypothesis that supports neither philosophical agenda?

Actually, the fact that it's still speculative is exactly the point. Without data that supports the speculation, there's no reason to accept it. Especially not when we already have a theory that does a damn good job of explaining what we see (the TOE, of course).

Quote
BTW, a quantum mechanical explanation can be thought of as a tool of an intelligent designer just as much as the result of a non-teleological universe that occurred “randomly” from multiple universes. However, these are metaphysical concerns, not scientific ones.

Agreed.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,10:45   

Hi all,

Here is what I responded to Nick Matze on Telic Thoughts...

Quote
Hi Nick,

Thank you very much for your comment.

For your information I have also posted this on After the Bar Closes. If you wanted to post this on Panda's Thumb (even if to belittle it) I would appreciate that.

You see, this is my attempt at provoking thinking about the fundamentals of the ID/Darwin debate. If you are going to dismiss this with the same contempt as "GodDidIt" then the ID proponents are right. They would be wasting their time putting together mechanistic explanations backed up, partially, by scientific observations. It becomes apparent until you personally see the burning bush and witness a miracle; you aren't going to accept its possibility. And even then, you might reject it because it is outside of your status quo thinking.

As you know, in 1905 a patent clerk was trying to make a big deal about an inconsistency in Mercury's orbit and a slight red shift in sunlight. This resulted in a special-relativity-in-the-gaps rationalization. BTW, for those who don't know, Einstein's special relativity was wrong. Of course we don't say that because of its importance. We say it was "incomplete". The god-in-the-gaps like argument was that there was no inertial reference frame. Later, Einstein corrected his mistake by embracing General Relativity which is based on an inertial reference frame presumption. General Relativity has been proven correct as much as anything can be scientifically "proven".

Another example from the world of biology…

In 1951 a pair of young loose-cannons slapped together a model of what they thought was the basis of genetics. Their DNA-in-the-gaps model was laughably wrong. They were chastised and told to quit working on it. Two years later the stubborn young scientists slapped together another model based on information they "liberated" from other scientists like Rosalind Franklin. This time they got lucky. Eventually their luck resulted in them receiving Nobel prizes. Rosalind wasn’t so lucky. She died before her contribution was adequately recognized.

Nick, there is a role to play in protecting the Status Quo. But, is it possible the role might have evolved into Dr. Zaius’ dual title of “Minister of Science and Defender of the Faith”?

Yes, there is a balance to be maintained and I will speak to the other side of the balance in responding to other comments. However, I suggest there is some truth to the complaints I am hearing from ID proponents.


I will follow up with specific responses to your comments.  So far, I like what I am reading.  Thank You.

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,11:02   

I replied to TP at Telic Thoughts:
 
Quote
 
Quote
As you know, in 1905 a patent clerk was trying to make a big deal about an inconsistency in Mercury's orbit and a slight red shift in sunlight. This resulted in a special-relativity-in-the-gaps rationalization.

No. Gravitational redshift and the precession of Mercury's orbit are explained by general relativity, not special relativity.
 
Quote
The god-in-the-gaps like argument was that there was no inertial reference frame.

No. Special relativity, like Newtonian mechanics, recognizes inertial reference frames and holds that the laws of physics are identical in all of them.

TP, if you don't even understand well-established physics such as special relativity, why should we pay attention to your boosterism of quantum woo such as Patel's?


--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,12:13   

Hi Keith,

From a paper titled Einstein’s Ether: Why did Einstein Come Back to the Ether?
link
"In (1905) Einstein constructed a relativity theory that was based on the assertion that the ether was superfluous. In 1908 Minkowski formulated the theory of the “absolute world”. The nineteenth century ether no longer existed. A new kind of ether (space-time) came into being. One could keep on maintaining the ether, and at the same time strip it of the notion of absolute rest. Einstein seemed to agree, and after 1916 he returned to the ether. In 1920 he combined Minkowski’s absolute world concept and Mach’s ideas on rotational movements…"

The Twin Paradox was a paradox for special relativity because the problem's solution was inconsistant depending on which twin's reference frame was used. If everything was relative and there was no "ether" (inertial frame of reference) then this was a problem. Minkowskian geometry explained it was a simple geometry situation where the shortest distance between two points is NOT a straight line.

Note: this is copied and pasted from Telic Thoughts

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,12:46   

My reply to TP at Telic Thoughts:
 
Quote
TP,

I think the problem is that you're confusing the concepts of absolute vs. inertial reference frames. Special relativity says that there is no absolute frame of reference, but it most definitely does not say that there are no inertial frames, as you claimed. In fact, special relativity recognizes an infinite number of inertial frames and holds that the laws of physics are identical in all of them.

The so-called "Twin Paradox" is actually not a paradox at all. A true paradox is self-contradictory. The Twin Paradox is counterintuitive, to be sure, but it does not contradict itself. And contrary to your assertion, it can be fully explained in terms of special relativity.

Again, TP, I urge you to take some time to learn basic physics. It will pay off in the long run, and it will make you less susceptible to woo-mongers like Patel.


--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,13:13   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 04 2007,08:49)
On October 4th, Paul Nelson and Michael Ruse are/were scheduled to have a debate for discussing what it would take for them to switch sides. Here is a link to Paul Nelson's announcement where he said "Michael Ruse and I are going to have a sort of un-debate." I am making the easy prediction of a non-outcome to the un-debate where the spin-masters on both sides will claim victory. This is my overt attempt at preempting with my un-spin to provoke thinking about the polarization that this represents. Allow me some hyperbola to illustrate the point; one extreme view would be to ask for the equivalent of the random assembly of a 747 from a pile of junk another extreme view would be to ask for the equivalent of an Intelligent Designer saying "I am" accompanied by a pyrotechnical display of local shrubbery.


In other words, the basic conflict is generally about randomness verses a designer.

There is a lot of ground between these two extremes. What would it take to convince both sides that a middle ground hypothesis that presumes neither randomness nor a designer is not only plausible but likely?

I have previously presented the concept that there is no such thing as randomness in a post titled The Magic of Intelligent Design. This post has appeared in Telic Thoughts and in After the Bar Closes. For a proposed design agency, I have offered the orchestrating properties of quantum effects generally outlined in the Penrose-Hameroff model called Orchestrated Objective Reduction or Orch OR for short.

What would it take to convince either side that quantum effects are interconnected?

How about seven decades of physicists performing experiments demonstrating non-local behavior and paradoxical behavior that can only be explained if nature is “entangled” at the quantum level?

What would it take to convince either side that life is directly dependent on quantum effects?

How about if respectable scientists at Berkeley lab reported something like…
Early in 2007 a team of Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley researchers identified quantum mechanical effects as the key to the astonishing ability of photosynthesis to utilize nearly all the photons absorbed by the leaves of green plants. Now a different team has found new evidence that points to a closely packed pigment-protein complex of the photosystem as the key to those quantum mechanical effects. …
How nature manages to pull off this stunt was a long-standing mystery until the spring of 2007, when a study led by Graham Fleming, Deputy Director of Berkeley Lab and a UC Berkeley chemistry professor, found the first direct evidence of what he calls a "remarkably long-lived wavelike electronic quantum coherence." Quantum-mechanical effects enable a plant's photosystem to simultaneously sample all the potential energy pathways from pigment molecules to reaction centers and choose the most efficient one. link
…?

What would it take to convince either side that evolution is under the control of interconnected quantum effects?

What if it turned out the DNA search function is a quantum algorithm that requires quantum-like superposition?

From Patel's Quantum Algorithms and the Genetic Code…
Replication of DNA and synthesis of proteins are studied from the view-point of quantum database search. Identification of a base-pairing with a quantum query gives a natural (and first ever!) explanation of why living organisms have 4 nucleotide bases and 20 amino acids. It is amazing that these numbers arise as solutions to an optimisation problem. Components of the DNA structure which implement Grover’s algorithm are identified, and a physical scenario is presented for the execution of the quantum algorithm. It is proposed that enzymes play a crucial role in maintaining quantum coherence of the process.

From Patel's Towards Understanding the Origin of Genetic Languages…
The initial and final states of Grover’s algorithm are classical, but the execution in between is not. In order to be stable, the initial and final states have to be based on a relaxation towards equilibrium process. For the execution of the algorithm in between, the minimal physical requirement is a system that allows superposition of states, in particular a set of coupled wave modes.

There is more support for the possibility of life's direct dependence on interconnected quantum effects for functions like cellular awareness (i.e. consciousness) as an artifact of quantum computation in microtubules. "Bio-quantum physics" appears to be an emerging science. While it is still speculative, that is not the point.

The question is… What would it take to convince ID/Darwin extremists to agree on a scientific hypothesis that supports neither philosophical agenda?

BTW, a quantum mechanical explanation can be thought of as a tool of an intelligent designer just as much as the result of a non-teleological universe that occurred “randomly” from multiple universes. However, these are metaphysical concerns, not scientific ones.

Over the past few weeks I've come to appreciate TP's posts. Not for their content, specifically, but for their soporific effect. They're more effective in inducing sleep than barbiturates, and they're not habit-forming.

--------------
Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,13:23   

Looks like maybe TP is right after all!

WAVE-PARTICLE DUALITY: OBSERVED PHENOMENA IN SCIURUS CAROLINENESIS

Hat-tip: The World's Fair.

(Please excuse my irreverance. I couldn't help myself!)

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,13:37   

Quote
In other words, the basic conflict is generally about randomness verses a designer.

There is a lot of ground between these two extremes. What would it take to convince both sides that a middle ground hypothesis that presumes neither randomness nor a designer is not only plausible but likely?

I have previously presented the concept that there is no such thing as randomness in a post titled The Magic of Intelligent Design. This post has appeared in Telic Thoughts and in After the Bar Closes. For a proposed design agency, I have offered the orchestrating properties of quantum effects generally outlined in the Penrose-Hameroff model called Orchestrated Objective Reduction or Orch OR for short.

What would it take to convince either side that quantum effects are interconnected?

How about seven decades of physicists performing experiments demonstrating non-local behavior and paradoxical behavior that can only be explained if nature is “entangled” at the quantum level?


But but but... Um, random and designer are only from the stupid side... You can't use those words!!!one11 They are a patghetic attempt to frame the debate inaccurately. Teleologic/non-teleologic is more accurate. Anyway, that aside.

And like I said before. Great. Evolution essentially happens by selection. This is a fact not a theory. The theory is the mechanics of it. A middle ground that claims that speciation is not the result of selection would be wrong. Not middle.

The quantum effect may indeed be a force motivating one of the forces working on selection but, as with Newton's gravity, Darwin's "Natural Selection" or even the modern synthesis, they work. If you can discover another force, do you think it will overturn selection? Hardly, the only possibility it has is to be a force acting on selection.

I found that easier to write as  a declarative statement but as always, I quite probably misunderstood your position or scrambled the facts in some silly way. I am happy to be wrong.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,16:06   

Hi All,

I will continue my running gun battle with Keiths in a moment, but first let me catch up...

Albatrossity2 wrote...
 
Quote
You might appreciate (or not) this quote from CM Bowra - "Scientists are treacherous allies on committees, for they are apt to change their minds in response to arguments."

Engineers are like that too.  They tend to go with what works.  Provide a mechanistic explanation that makes sense (i.e. a model) and they will run with it.  I have plenty of experience with PhD types providing lists of why a proposed design won't work.  However, when they refuse to offer an alternative we have to go with the best we got.  The funny part is when the project is successfully completed, the PhD types still maintain they were right and provide plenty or reasons why.

Penrose's quantum interpretation (OR) makes sense and answers all of the quantum observations like GHZ states.

The Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR model is a fall out of this.  Consciousness has to be tied to interconnected quantum effects.  Consciousness can't be purely algorithmic.

Dr. Hameroff takes this a provides a detailed model of how this could work.  I understand it well enough to go with its basic concept.  Do you have an alternative model?

qetzal wrote...  
Quote
In reality, much of what happens according to the TOE is decidedly non-random. The TOE merely holds (among other things) that there is no intended outcome, no external agency that guides evolution toward some prespecified goal.

Thus, I think it's more useful to say this conflict is about non-teleological versus teleological claims, or undirected versus directed outcomes.

BWE wrote...  
Quote
Teleologic/non-teleologic is more accurate.

Is the Earth "directed" to revolve around the sun?  General Relativity suggests that time is just another dimension in space/time geometry.  There is no reason that the future couldn't effect the past for similar reasons that the sun can effect the Earth.
"Teleological" becomes a metaphysical semantic game until you start talking about a designer.  To illustrate this, I talk about how the purpose of the universe is to be consistent with itself.  Skeptic pointed out this is a metaphysical statement.  I agree with him.

Besides, I have heard just about as many ID critics say this is about "God" as I have heard ID proponents talk about belief in randomness.

Are you ready to agree there is no such thing as randomness (or at least that it is a metaphysical presumption)?

To Jim - glad I can help with your insomnia

To BWE - Other than arguing against randomness, what I am saying isn't in direct conflict with the ToE.  I am suggesting an enhancement that might explain why living organisms like Vernanimalcula guizhouena are more complex than expected.

While I hesitate to speak for MikeGene, I think it is safe to say he has a similar position.  Front Loading is an enhancement, not a challenge.

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,16:43   

Quote
Consciousness has to be tied to interconnected quantum effects.  Consciousness can't be purely algorithmic.

This has not been demonstrated.

And that's the trouble I'm having with your ideas. I see no justification for positing that quantum effects are important, to either evolution or consciousness. I just don't see what is so desperately in need of explanation that justifies a radical departure from the traditional modes of investigation of these phenomena.

Even if we had a GUT of physics, evolutionary biologists and neuroscientists would still have plenty of work to do.

I guess, in short, (and apologies: I know your dislike of labels) I sense in your treatment of these concepts what Dennett calls "greedy reductionism." IOW, just because there's a quantum reality that underlies our ordinary classical-scale existence, it doesn't mean that it's useful to try and explain every phenomenon in quantum terms.

I'd like you to rein in your theorizing, and tell me what it is a theory like this would even be called upon to explain. And don't just say "consciousness," unless you can demonstrate the bit I quoted from your post at the top, there.

--------------
The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,17:14   

Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ Oct. 04 2007,16:43)
...
I guess, in short, (and apologies: I know your dislike of labels) I sense in your treatment of these concepts what Dennett calls "greedy reductionism." IOW, just because there's a quantum reality that underlies our ordinary classical-scale existence, it doesn't mean that it's useful to try and explain every phenomenon in quantum terms.

I'd like you to rein in your theorizing, and tell me what it is a theory like this would even be called upon to explain. And don't just say "consciousness," unless you can demonstrate the bit I quoted from your post at the top, there.

I'm with C.J. on this one. WTF can you do with your model? Not that it isn't a fun topic- on the contrary, I'm trying to figure out how to test the quantum time-pull effect on my body and some 12 year old scotch I have at home as I type this- but why hook up with the ID crowd to talk about it? What's the deal with that?

Quote (TP @ *,*)
To BWE - Other than arguing against randomness, what I am saying isn't in direct conflict with the ToE.  I am suggesting an enhancement that might explain why living organisms like Vernanimalcula guizhouena are more complex than expected.
I think I missed the reference. Do you mean organisms living today that are similar to Vernanimalcula guizhouena? At any rate, what was expected?

Until someone figured out the fluid dynamics equations or fractal models or whatever they are that dictate the prescribed nature of the universe, doesn't it make sense to work backwards from data?  In any equation based model, even if it were perfect, the model required tuning to be accurate. The inputs need to be manipulated until they match the real-world data. If you don't have enough data, your model has a low degree of accuracy and vice-versa. No?

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
JAM



Posts: 517
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,17:42   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 04 2007,16:06)
...I have plenty of experience with PhD types providing lists of why a proposed design won't work.

We're not saying it won't work, we're asking why no one is using it to produce any work (new data). If you, Penrose, Hameroff, et al. thought that this hypothesis would work, you'd be producing data with it.
 
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However, when they refuse to offer an alternative we have to go with the best we got.

TP, you're delusional. You're not going with it, and no one else is either.
 
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The funny part is when the project is successfully completed, the PhD types still maintain they were right and provide plenty or reasons why.

Um...we're the ones asking why you and those who love this hypothesis have yet to start a project, much less complete one successfully. We're the doers, and you're just a talker.
 
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The Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR model is a fall out of this.  Consciousness has to be tied to interconnected quantum effects.  Consciousness can't be purely algorithmic.

How would you know? You can't tell the difference between a paper that contains new data and one that doesn't.
 
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Dr. Hameroff takes this a provides a detailed model of how this could work.

Then why hasn't he tested it by manipulating microtubules?
 
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I understand it well enough to go with its basic concept.  Do you have an alternative model?

LTP + a lot of stuff we don't understand yet. Folks (including me) are testing predictions.
 
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...I am suggesting an enhancement that might explain why living organisms like Vernanimalcula guizhouena are more complex than expected.

But does it make any predictions?
 
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While I hesitate to speak for MikeGene, I think it is safe to say he has a similar position.  Front Loading is an enhancement, not a challenge.

Science is about predicting more than explaining. Einstein was famous because he offered testable predictions.

Do you have any? If not, you and the cowardly Mike Gene are avoiding science, not doing it.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,17:46   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 04 2007,16:06)
Engineers are like that too.  They tend to go with what works.  Provide a mechanistic explanation that makes sense (i.e. a model) and they will run with it.  I have plenty of experience with PhD types providing lists of why a proposed design won't work.  However, when they refuse to offer an alternative we have to go with the best we got.  The funny part is when the project is successfully completed, the PhD types still maintain they were right and provide plenty or reasons why.

Yes, and note what the engineers did - they performed an empirical test by putting the design into practice, thus providing evidence to support their hypothesis that the design was sound. As you rightly point out, we can't always trust that our theories accurately reflect reality. That's why we insist that theories be supported with evidence.
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Penrose's quantum interpretation (OR) makes sense and answers all of the quantum observations like GHZ states.

But you've just illustrated so clearly, we can't always trust our theories even when they're supported by lots of evidence. Yet you want us to accept Penrose's theory based on no evidence. Can't you see the disconnect there?
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The Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR model is a fall out of this.  Consciousness has to be tied to interconnected quantum effects.  Consciousness can't be purely algorithmic.

Why? How do you know? You sound suspiciously like those PhDs who insist things must be a certain way.
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Dr. Hameroff takes this a provides a detailed model of how this could work.  I understand it well enough to go with its basic concept.  Do you have an alternative model?

Hameroff's model focuses on how microtubules and microtubule networks might engage in quantum computing. I'm not qualified to evaluate the quantum aspects, but even if they're plausible, how does Hameroff support the claim that they lead to consciousness? As far as I can tell, it's just an appeal to apparent mysticism. Quantum effects seem mystical, consciousness seems mystical, one must cause the other. Not a very compelling argument.

Please note - I don't reject Hameroff's ideas out of hand. I admit they seem a bit wacky to me, but it's too far out of my area of expertise. I just refuse to accept his ideas in the absense of adequate supporting evidence.
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There is no reason that the future couldn't effect the past for similar reasons that the sun can effect the Earth.

In other words, you're arguing it's possible. But not everything that's possible is real.
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Are you ready to agree there is no such thing as randomness (or at least that it is a metaphysical presumption)?

You're missing the point. We're not arguing whether randomness exists per se. We're saying that evolution isn't random. The TOE is not equivalent to randomness a la the tornado in a junkyard. Not by any stretch.

In fact, perhaps you should take heart in this. You originally asked:
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What would it take to convince both sides that a middle ground hypothesis that presumes neither randomness nor a designer is not only plausible but likely?

The answer is that TOE is a middle ground hypothesis. It doesn't invoke a designer, yet it doesn't claim that organisms arose by anything akin to "random assembly of a 747 from a pile of junk" either.

Dilemma solved! Of course, it was solved even before you asked the question, but I suppose your asking now could have retrocaused the solution in the past. ;-)
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To BWE - Other than arguing against randomness, what I am saying isn't in direct conflict with the ToE.  I am suggesting an enhancement that might explain why living organisms like Vernanimalcula guizhouena are more complex than expected.

On what basis is V. guizhouena more complex than expected? Are you trying to suggest that it's 'too complex' to have evolved 'naturally' in the available time period? Do you have any evidence to support that, or is it based merely on personal incredulity?
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While I hesitate to speak for MikeGene, I think it is safe to say he has a similar position.  Front Loading is an enhancement, not a challenge.

That's not correct. Front loading is directly contradictory to the TOE as we know it.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,19:24   

Captain's Log, star date 2006.1004,

We are on assignment in the Alpha quadrant to study planet cluster 623.

I have ordered the navigator to make it appear the planet cluster is moving in a circular pattern relative to the ship.  Side note, I find it interesting that when the navigator does this it looks like the entire universe is spinning at the same rate, fascinating.

I have ordered Ensign Keiths to my ready-room.

Here he is now (wearing a red shirt, of course).

Ensign, we are sending down several survey teams to various planets in this cluster.  This operation will occur over two years, ship time.  The first year we will be dropping off teams the second year we will be picking them up.

However, it won't appear to be a year for you.  Since, as you know,   "...there is no absolute frame of reference..." and "...that the laws of physics are identical in all..." local frames of reference.  Based on the ship's frame of reference, you will be constantly traveling at warp 0.9.  At nine tenths the speed of light time will go slower…. err… um…  or does it go faster?  Hmmm, let's do the math...

ds^2 = dt^2 - (dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2)
       = (1 year)^2 - (0.9 light-years)^2
       = 1.0 - 0.81
       = 0.19

ds = 0.436 years

Ah yes, that’s it.  Less than half a year.  Therefore, we will provision your shuttle to last you and your team half a year.  We will be back before you know it.

Ensign Keiths?

Do you have something to say?

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,19:49   

Hi C.J.O'Brien,

You wrote...
[quote]I guess, in short, (and apologies: I know your dislike of labels) I sense in your treatment of these concepts what Dennett calls "greedy reductionism." IOW, just because there's a quantum reality that underlies our ordinary classical-scale existence, it doesn't mean that it's useful to try and explain every phenomenon in quantum terms.

I'd like you to rein in your theorizing, and tell me what it is a theory like this would even be called upon to explain. And don't just say "consciousness," unless you can demonstrate the bit I quoted from your post at the top, there.[quote]

I suggest the opposite of what you are talking about is compartmentalizing.  One of the things Penrose did was to merge General Relativity with quantum physics.  A complete model needs to explain both realities.  Consciousness plays into this too.  It is part of the measurement problem for quantum mechanics.  Penrose didn't ignore this inconvienient observation.  He offered a mathematical proof against Strong AI.  Here is Planet math's analysis of it.

I understand there was a time that geologists and scientists studying the sun were ignoring each other.  The geologists felt the earth was old, the scientists felt the sun was young (this was before E=mc^2).  Neither saw a need to deal with the other discipline's problem.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,20:06   

Hi BWE,

You wrote...
   
Quote
I'm with C.J. on this one. WTF can you do with your model? Not that it isn't a fun topic- on the contrary, I'm trying to figure out how to test the quantum time-pull effect on my body and some 12 year old scotch I have at home as I type this- but why hook up with the ID crowd to talk about it? What's the deal with that?

My reaction to this is asking WTF did we need special and general relativity for?  We were getting along fine with Newtonian physics.

I suggest a deeper understanding of fundamentals will always come in handy.  To start with.  If Hameroff is correct, the human brain is over 10^8 times more powerful than previously thought.

As for my interest in attaching this to ID.  First of all, curiosity.  I like understanding people who think different than myself.  I am learning things about ID proponents by throwing this hypothesis out there.

I am also more concerned about what will happen when the paradigm shift happens.  I am concerned that if we continue the polarization, the majority will lose patience and we risk a repeat of 391 AD where "reality" was created by political decree (emperor Theodosius I) reinforced by the destruction to contrary scientific thought in places like the Serapeum of Alexandria (Library of Alexandria).

My answer is to provoke thought on both sides.

Besides, I think the Third Choice hypothesis has a good chance of being correct.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,20:43   

Hi JAM,

You wrote...
Quote
LTP + a lot of stuff we don't understand yet. Folks (including me) are testing predictions.


Good, and I wish you good fortune.

Quote
Science is about predicting more than explaining. Einstein was famous because he offered testable predictions.


And Penrose has offered testable prediction based in E=h/t.  His FELIX experiments tests the predicted decoherence time of a small mirror.

Penrose/Hameroff model implies that once AI starts using quantum computation the results will be "surprisingly" human-like.

And, oh yea, the prediction that neural networks will “…present non-local properties not explainable by classical models."

Here is the link to that experiment you have assured me has nothing to do with microtubules even though the authors mention Penrose-Hameroff by name.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,20:56   

Hi qetzal,
You wrote...
 
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In other words, you're arguing it's possible. But not everything that's possible is real.

This is probably a philosophical difference.  I have a strong sense that, in this universe, if it can happen it does happen.  I think Penrose has a similar philosophy.

Hawking and Penrose figured out Black Holes could happen.  They presumed Black Holes existed long before evidence was found.

Did you know natural occuring laser light was found on Mars? link

I think the trick to physics is trying to figure out what isn't possible under what conditions.  It may be the trick to biology too.

You wrote...
Quote
That's not correct. Front loading is directly contradictory to the TOE as we know it.

You might want to talk to MikeGene about his opinion on that.

Here is my comment on Vernanimalcula guizhouena.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,22:19   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 04 2007,20:56)
Hi qetzal,
You wrote...
       
Quote
In other words, you're arguing it's possible. But not everything that's possible is real.

This is probably a philosophical difference.  I have a strong sense that, in this universe, if it can happen it does happen.  I think Penrose has a similar philosophy.

Well, if that's your view, I can see why evidence is mostly irrelevant to you. But do you really believe that? If it's merely possible that microtubules perform quantum computations, then they do?
 
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Hawking and Penrose figured out Black Holes could happen.  They presumed Black Holes existed long before evidence was found.

Not so. They figured out that, based on our best understanding of physics, black holes must form under certain conditions. I trust you see the difference?
 
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Did you know natural occuring laser light was found on Mars? link

Yes, and....?
 
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I think the trick to physics is trying to figure out what isn't possible under what conditions.  It may be the trick to biology too.

I guess that's not entirely unreasonable, at least as a way to distinguish what's possible from what's not. It's still necessary to generate evidence, to distinguish what's merely possible from what's actually true. Keep in mind that our ability to determine what's really impossible is no better than the quality of our current theories. And we already apparently agree that it's unwise to assume those are infallible.
 
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You wrote...
     
Quote
That's not correct. Front loading is directly contradictory to the TOE as we know it.

You might want to talk to MikeGene about his opinion on that.

Here is my comment on Vernanimalcula guizhouena.

Yes, I saw it. I didn't respond at the time, but I will now. You wrote:
 
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Alright, I will admit the Vernanimalcula guizhouena probably had to hand out "I am deaf" cards to any verbalizing organisms running around, but all and all, for it's time the Vernanimalcula guizhouena were intellectual giants. That time was 600 MILLION YEARS AGO!

As a champion of a Third Choice I will point out the challenge of this for the other two choices. First of all, what evolutionary pressures would there be to cause such a complex creature to evolve? How much complexity is needed to eat microbes? How complicated do early organisms have to get before it is admitted they just might be more complicated than expected?

Do you realize that the first life probably arose almost 4 BILLION years ago? (Believe it or not, there are fossils of these cells.) That leaves ~ 3 billion years to go from the first cells to V. guizhouena, versus only 600 million to go from V. guizhouena to H. sapiens. I think that puts things in more perspective.

Evolutionary pressures that might lead to V. guizhouena are easy to imagine. If you're the biggest organism around, it's rather hard for all the littler things to eat you. The ability to sense light could also have lots of value. Helps you find where all the photosynthesizers are hanging out, in case you need a snack, for example.

And of course, the raw material for developing light sensors had been around for a few billion years. How hard would it be for a photon-absorbing photosynthetic pigment to get co-opted for use as a photon-absorbing sensory pigment? Seems entirely plausible to me.

You seem to be applying very different standards here. For Penrose & Hameroff, mere plausibility is all you require. Is there a reason why you set the bar so much higher for poor old V. guizhouena?

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,22:19   

Quote
I suggest the opposite of what you are talking about is compartmentalizing.  One of the things Penrose did was to merge General Relativity with quantum physics.  A complete model needs to explain both realities.  Consciousness plays into this too.  It is part of the measurement problem for quantum mechanics.  Penrose didn't ignore this inconvienient observation.  He offered a mathematical proof against Strong AI.  Here is Planet math's analysis of it.

Hmm, I must have missed his paper where he beat out the rest of these. What was the point of the space-time calculation? What does keiths dispute that's clarified by this exercise?
 
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And Penrose has offered testable prediction based in E=h/t.  His FELIX experiments tests the predicted decoherence time of a small mirror.

Penrose/Hameroff model implies that once AI starts using quantum computation the results will be "surprisingly" human-like.

And, oh yea, the prediction that neural networks will “…present non-local properties not explainable by classical models."

Here is the link to that experiment you have assured me has nothing to do with microtubules even though the authors mention Penrose-Hameroff by name.

Until you get past the abstract and tell us what the experimental setup and data was, you can BS us until you're blue in the face.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,22:53   

Hi qetzal,

You wrote...
Quote
Do you realize that the first life probably arose almost 4 BILLION years ago? (Believe it or not, there are fossils of these cells.) That leaves ~ 3 billion years to go from the first cells to V. guizhouena, versus only 600 million to go from V. guizhouena to H. sapiens. I think that puts things in more perspective.


And life using quantum effects for photosynthesis occurring midway between them.

Going from V. guizhouena to humans seems trivial compared to going from basic chemicals to V. guizhouena, even at 5 times the duration.

I also find life's start on early Earth interesting.  As an engineer I tend to think that evidence of life at 4 bya means life started much earlier.  As it is, Earth was pretty hostile that early.  Added to that, the possible existence of nanobes means we might have a whole new outlook on the Origin of Life...

From
Nanobacteria and Nanobes- Are They Alive?
Nanobes are thought to exist everywhere! Nanobe structures have been found within organisms as well as rocks. While their existence is relatively new knowledge, some speculate that nanobes may even outnumber bacteria by an order of magnitude!

Nanobes may also exist on other planets! Martian meteorites such as ALH84001 (more info) have been speculated to contain trace fossils of nanobacteria. The softball-sized igneous meteorite shows microscopic worm-like and "ovid" nanofossils.


Quote
You seem to be applying very different standards here. For Penrose & Hameroff, mere plausibility is all you require. Is there a reason why you set the bar so much higher for poor old V. guizhouena?


Another unusual philosophy of mine.  I don't mine embracing multiple concepts simultaneously.  I think it is quite possible that V. guizhouena could have happened without help from interconnected quantum effects.

It is all a matter of percentages.  What is the percentage chance that life on Earth came from a meteor?  I use to put that pretty low.  It is getting a little higher.  My percentage chance for Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR is around 50%.

I am generally more interested in provoking thought than trying to make converts.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,23:03   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 04 2007,20:56)
You wrote...
     
Quote
That's not correct. Front loading is directly contradictory to the TOE as we know it.

You might want to talk to MikeGene about his opinion on that.

OK, I read a bit more of Mike Gene's stuff, and I tentatively retract my objection, at least as regards his version of front loading.  To be honest, I'm still not clear what the essence of his version is. But in its loosest form, it appears to be simply that evolution of new traits is partly constrained (and therefore partly determined) by previously existing traits.

That is indeed entirely compatible with the current TOE. New traits don't evolve out of nothing. They arise by modification of what's already there.

If that's all Mike Gene's version of front loading says, I have no problem with it. I'm not sure how it's an extension, but I confess there's a lot there I didn't try to go through.

I do note, however, that he repeatedly refers to a designer. If a designer is detectably involved in his version of front loading, then my objection stands - that's incompatible with the current TOE.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,23:06   

Hi Creeky Belly,

You asked...
   
Quote
What was the point of the space-time calculation? What does keiths dispute that's clarified by this exercise?

Keiths was questioning my understanding of Special and General Relativity.

I offered my understanding with a story that may have helped explain at least some of my understanding.

The situation I described makes sense from a Special Relativity point of view.  But Keiths knows that in this situation the poor survey team is going to starve long before the ship arrives to pick them up.

Keiths knows this because General Relativity indicates there is an absolute inertial frame  of reference.

Keiths offered a Scientific American article on it.  I must admit, I am surprised by the number of articles trying to defend Special Relativity when it is obvious that Special Relativity is, at best, incomplete.

Right or wrong, I understand what I am saying and can defend it.  So far, Keiths isn't interested in trying to explain his answers in his own words.

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,23:15   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 04 2007,19:24)
Ensign Keiths?

Do you have something to say?

My reply (cross-posted from Telic Thoughts):
   
Quote
TP,

I don't have the time or the inclination to walk you through an explanation of how special relativity resolves the so-called "Twin Paradox", but I did hunt down a Scientific American article on the the Web that explains it, so that you can convince yourself on your own time.

You can find it here.

This paragraph from the article explains why general relativity is not needed to resolve the paradox, contrary to your claim:
Quote
The paradox lies in the question "Why is the traveling brother younger?" Special relativity tells us that an observed clock, traveling at a high speed past an observer, appears to run more slowly. (Many of us solved this problem in sophomore physics, to demonstrate one effect of the absolute nature of the speed of light.) Since relativity says that there is no absolute motion, wouldn't the brother traveling to the star also see his brother's clock on the earth move more slowly? If this were the case, wouldn't they both be the same age? This paradox is discussed in many books but solved in very few. When the paradox is addressed, it is usually done so only briefly, by saying that the one who feels the acceleration is the one who is younger at the end of the trip. Hence, the brother who travels to the star is younger. While the result is correct, the explanation is misleading. Because of these types of incomplete explanations, to many partially informed people, the accelerations appear to be the issue. Therefore, it is believed that the general theory of relativity is required to explain the paradox. Of course, this conclusion is based on yet another mistake, since we don't need general relativity to handle accelerations. The paradox can be unraveled by special relativity alone, and the accelerations incurred by the traveler are incidental. An explanation follows.


--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,23:20   

Hi qetzal,

I am impressed.  Do you mind if I mention your qualified admission on Telic Thoughts?

BTW, MikeGene and I have had heated words over what I perceive as an implied presumption of a designer.

However, that was a while ago, he may be modifying his position on that.  At least he has conceded that if there is a designer, it is most likely there is more than one.

Not many ID proponents will readily admit that.

I have pulled a tail or two with the suggestion that if anything looks like a designed-by-committee job, it would be life on Earth.  ;)

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,23:27   

I will save some bandwidth in the running gun-battle with Keiths.  In case anyone is interested...
Here is the link to my response in Telic Thoughts

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,23:28   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 04 2007,22:53)
Going from V. guizhouena to humans seems trivial compared to going from basic chemicals to V. guizhouena, even at 5 times the duration.

That's not what I said. Life didn't go from basic chemicals to V. guizhouena in ~ 3 billion years. It went from early cells to V. guizhouena in that time. Presumably, those early cells were already much more than just "basic chemicals."

The more surprising thing, as you imply, is the suggestion that it took "only" ~0.7-1 billion years for the first cells to arise. If that's true, then I don't see any reason to be impressed by V. guizhouena's complexity.

Quote
I am impressed.  Do you mind if I mention your qualified admission on Telic Thoughts?

No problem, but I'd prefer that you link to my comment, so there's less chance of misconstruing my meaning.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,23:49   

Hi qetzal,

You are right.  I skipped a step.  The first cell is the tough one.

Frankly a lot of time and energy could be saved if it was stipulated that evolution after Cambrian is a trivial gimme.  But, I know, I am preaching to the wrong crowd on that.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2007,10:25   

Another copy and paste from Telic Thoughts...

Let's see, how can I provoke Nick Matzke or someone like him to comment? I got it…

These discussions go to show the potential benefit of Intelligent Design.   :D

It isn't so much a matter of who is right or wrong, the benefit comes from a radical approach to viewing scientific questions. It wasn't my intent to belittle Einstein, Watson and Crick for the incompleteness and/or incorrectness of their initial attempts at modeling. Quite the contrary. I point to their stubbornness in the face of adversity as an example of how science makes significant advances. Sometimes we learn more by being wrong than being right.

However, the trick is that hypotheses need to be understandable enough to expose everything, including the flaws. This is one of my major criticisms of the ID Movement leaders. They appear to be purposely hiding the details of their proposal and encouraging others to do the same ("…pathetic level of detail"). It doesn't help when understandable concepts are hidden behind unnecessary complications. For example, "-log base-2 (x) > 1.0" instead of "more likely than not" as Dembski does in his definition of Specified Complexity.

ID Science has potential merit. If we could openly and honestly discuss radical scientific hypotheses, even if they have flaws, it might provoke thinking about things in a different way. Who knows? If the flaws are exposed, we might figure a work-around and come up with a better understanding of the world we live in.

What would it take to resist the ID/Darwin polarization?

I suggest honest and open discussions in a blog like Telic Thoughts.

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2007,10:34   

Cross posted from Telic Thoughts.
Quote
I also offered the earth and sun example. Why does the sun's reference frame get preferential treatment?

Typically, that's not the frame that gets treatment. The center of mass frame is typically where the equations for orbits, etc are solved (makes the central potential equations much easier). I believe this is typically known as a barycenter.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2007,10:52   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 05 2007,10:25)
What would it take to resist the ID/Darwin polarization?

For a start, ID proponents would need to do one of two things.

1) Act like scientists: generate positive hypotheses based on ID, make predictions based on those hypotheses, design experiments to test those predictions, perform those experiments, interpret the results as objectively as possible, and report it all in the peer-reviewed literature.

OR

2) Admit that ID isn't science, admit they have no plans to ever treat it as science, stop claiming it's a valid scientific alternative to the TOE, and stop pretending that "evolution is wrong; evolution can't explain X" constitutes a scientific theory.

I don't believe the current leaders of the ID Movement will ever do either of those.

I also don't expect that option 1 would actually generate evidence in favor of intelligent design, but I agree that it might lead to new insights.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2007,10:54   

Hi Creeky Belly,
The issue is the lack of completeness and/or correctness of Special Relativity.  Do you agree or disagree with this assessment?
The question of whether general relativity is required to resolve the twins paradox has long been a subject of spirited debate. On one hand, Einstein wrote a paper in 1918 to explain how the general theory accounts for the asymmetric aging of the twins by means of the “gravitational fields” that appear with respect to accelerated coordinates attached to the traveling twin, and Max Born recounted this analysis in a popular book, concluding that "the clock paradox is due to a false application of the special theory of relativity, namely, to a case in which the methods of the general theory should be applied". On the other hand, many people object vigorously to any suggestion that special relativity is inadequate to satisfactorily resolve the twins paradox. Ultimately the answer depends on what sort of satisfaction is being sought, viz., on whether the paradox is being presented as a challenge to the consistency of special relativity (as is Dingle's fallacy) or to the completeness of special relativity. If we're willing to accept uncritically the existence and identifiability of inertial frames, and their preferred status, and if we are willing to exclude any consideration of gravity or the equivalence principle, then we can reduce the twins paradox to a trivial exercise in special relativity. However, if it is the completeness (rather than the consistency) of special relativity that is at issue, then the naive acceptance of inertial frames is precisely what is being challenged. In this context, we can hardly justify the exclusion of gravitation, considering that the very same metrical field which determines the inertial worldlines also represents the gravitational field.

While I think it sugercoats the incorrectness of Special Relativity, I understand the presentation and can agree with it.  It is a compromise.

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2007,15:48   

Quote
Hi Creeky Belly,
The issue is the lack of completeness and/or correctness of Special Relativity.  Do you agree or disagree with this assessment?

Yeah, I believe things like the Machian view of inertial reference frames was finally resolved with general relativity and the equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass. I suppose it could be argued that we know one twin has to have been in a non-inertial frame a priori, which is what the article you linked to suggests.

If both twins were in inertial frames, then a simple Lorentz transform would show that the twins would disagree both on the time elapsed and the distance traveled, in the typical special relativity solution.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2007,16:47   

Hi Creeky Belly,

Thank you.  I can be arrogently sure of positions I am sure of, but it does get tiring when it seems like the whole world is saying I got it all wrong.

Of course that is the way of the blogs.  People rarely risk providing support.  Thanks again.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 05 2007,22:34   

Quote
keiths, posted 10/04/07 10:15 PM
You can find it here.


I like that explanation better than the one I recall learning first - it involved the traveler converting all coordinates from the previous inertial frame into the new inertial frame, which resulted in an apparent sudden jump of the time coordinate of the people who stayed home. The math worked, but in a confusing round about way. Focusing instead on what each person observes at the time they observe it, seems a much better way of explaining it.

Henry

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 06 2007,19:26   

In case anyone is interested.  Several people at Telic Thoughts expressed frustration that the Third Choice didn't go far enough.

This shouldn't surprise those of you here who questioned its status visa vie ID.

I have relented and have provided an updated version.  Here is the copy and paste from Telic Thoughts…

Hi All,

Is EAM an ID Hypothesis?

Is Front Loading an ID Hypothesis?

Assuming the answer is "yes" to the above, let me offer a modification to the Third Choice. Let's call it, The Third Choice, ID Version.

The Third Choice, ID version violates NOMA in my opinion. However, since I don't know the Truth, it is a valid possibility. Here are the main points…

1. There is no such thing as randomness, period. Multiverse is false.

2. The universe has purpose. At the very least its purpose is to be consistent with itself.

3. The universe has a timeless intelligence (mind) that results from the interconnected quantum effects, including the quantum effects that gives rise to consciousness at the cellular level.

4. The interconnected quantum effects are both causal and retrocausual since time is just another dimension in space-time.

5. The quantum effects are not deterministic because they are not algorithmic. Their complexity creates an illusion of randomness.

6. The universe, and the life in it, is a result of purposeful design emanating from this timeless intelligence.

7. Understanding things like choice and free will are complicated by our view of time. It is difficult to fully conceptualize timeless decision making. Are we making a conscious decision we already made based on non-local quantum information that could be from the future?

8. Don't ask who or what designed the timeless designer unless you have an answer to the inherent "turtles all the way down" yourself.

Empirical evidence of design comes from the hypothesis' predictions like expectations that conscious decisions are effected by future events (Libet)

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 06 2007,19:36   

Hi All,

Out of fairness, here is The Third Choice, Multiverse Version.  I think it violates NOMA too.

1. Our universe is a purposeless, random selection from multiple universes during its creation.

2. The universe is made up of interconnected quantum effects which have no inherent purpose.  Consistancy is just a result of physical laws.

3. The interconnected quantum effects are both causal and retrocausual since time is just another dimension in space-time.

4. The quantum effects are not deterministic because they are not algorithmic. Their complexity creates an illusion of randomness.

5. Consiousness/awareness in living organisms is an artifact of quantum effects that are interconnected to all other quantum effects.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 06 2007,20:33   

Hi TP,

Are you planning to franchise these? Somehow, Third Choice, ID Version makes me think of Law and Order, SVU!   :-D

Regarding TC/IDV, I'm curious about the proposed intelligence. Do you consider it to be intrinsic to (or coincident with) the universe, or does it have some sort of external existence outside the universe?

I ask because points 3 & 6 together seem potentially contradictory - the universe has an intelligence that purposefully designed the universe.

Or does this fall under point 8?

BTW, I don't see how this can work:

Quote
Empirical evidence of design comes from the hypothesis' predictions like expectations that conscious decisions are effected by future events (Libet)


How would you ever demonstrate that a decision made today was affected by an event that has not occurred?

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 06 2007,21:20   

Hi qetzal,

 
Quote
Third Choice, ID Version makes me think of Law and Order, SVU!

Third Choice, IDV

I like it!

Third Choice, IDV proposes the universal intelligence would be internal/inherent to the universe.  And, yes, #8 applies to the "Who designed the designer?" question.

Let me cheat and skip to the next part that was already brought up on Telic Thoughts.  It was pointed out that I "...seem to be going in circles here."  Here was my response...

The observed reality shows that going in retrocausal circles is what the universe does at the quantum level. The universe is full of interconnected feedback loops. An infinite number of circles existing in Einsteinian/Minkowskian space-time.

I am an electrical engineer. An oscillator circuit is basically a unity gain amplifier with the output feeding the input (phased shifted by 180 degrees). A feedback loop constantly "going in circles."

Going in circles in time when it is just another dimension in space-time geometry makes for a thought provoking challenge.

...

I am not intentionally trying to be frustrating. But when I visualize the reality of the universe as Minkowskian geometry, things that are obvious there become extremely atypical when translated into terms of thinking of Euclidean geometry progressing through time like a frame by frame movie with each frame containing a snapshot of the 3D universe.

For example, photons (which appear as particles in Euclidean space traveling at the speed of light) take advantage of the ultimate "shortcut" available in Minkowskian geometry. Because of the shortcut, the Minkowskian distance traveled by a photon is zero. This leads to the implication that all photons in the universe are simply different glimpses of the same, single photon.

But even this thought needs to be modified because "particles" are just an illusionary artifact of a Copenhagen-like wavefunction.

...

In the Third Choice, ID version the timeless intelligence exercises agency in the same fashion as others might think a divine trinity of all-knowing, timeless intelligence can make choices and exercise agency.

To our empirical senses, randomness (including living organisms making choices) is an illusion, solid matter is an illusion. It is possible that nothing is empirically real except gravity which is only perturbations in the Minkowskian geometry of our universe

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 06 2007,21:46   

Hi qetzal,

   
Quote
How would you ever demonstrate that a decision made today was affected by an event that has not occurred?

Libet's scientific observation deals with a half a second, not hours or days.

Here is an experiment I thought of...

Setup:
Electrical device that periodically (once every two seconds) flashes a red light or a green light.  Which light is flashed is based on a quantum effect.  Which light is flashed is recorded and timestamped.  Also timestamped and recorded is a two position toggle switch.  The toggle switch is spring loaded for an unconnected center position.  The switch can be toggled either left or right to indicate a choice.

Test:
The test subjects are told to move the switch based on the color light they see.  They are encouraged to do this as quickly as they can even to the point of trying to anticipate which color will be shown.

Analysis:
The data will be sorted based on time of response.  Any time greater than a half a second will be discarded (it is longer than the Libet delay).

Statistical analysis of the responses will establish a level of confidence of a correlation between "guesses" and actual.


BTW, if anyone wants to “steal” this idea.  Be my guest.

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2007,00:11   

TP,

You haven't thought this through.  After discarding the responses that miss the Libet deadline, you're assuming that a preponderance of correct choices among the remaining responses is indicative of retrocausality.  Yet this totally neglects the possibility of preconscious but perfectly causal reactions to the stimulus.  

Now if you could get the subject to choose correctly with consistency before the light flashed, then you'd have something.

--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2007,00:59   

Hi Keiths,

I would expect to get some data where the toggle happened clearly before the light event.  That would be one set that I would analyze by itself.  However, I suspect that would be a violation of superluminal information transfer that could result in a potential causal paradox.  Quantum information can be superluminal and travel forward and backwards in time.  Objective Reduction turns quantum information into normal information.  It would be my impression that if the switch is actually thrown before the light is lit, then OR already happened and it is too late for the conscious decision.

I would be focusing on the data where the switch was thrown immediately after the light is lit.

It takes time for the neural signal to travel from the eyes to the brain and then to the hand.  We know that time, classically.  If there is statistical evidence the test subjects beat that time, it would suggest quantum information flow.  If that is the case, we go to step two.

We change the light pattern to be based on an algorithm function (psuedorandom number generator) instead of quantum effects.  Then we rerun the experiment.

If the quantum effects randomizer shows correlation and the algorithmic randomizer does not.  It would suggest external quantum effects were directly influencing the quantum effects of the conscious decision-making process.

This would be the prediction of the Orch-OR hypothesis.

P.S. If anyone wants to "steal" this idea, be my guest.

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2007,01:55   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 07 2007,00:59)
I would expect to get some data where the toggle happened clearly before the light event.  That would be one set that I would analyze by itself.  However, I suspect that would be a violation of superluminal information transfer that could result in a potential causal paradox.

No, superluminal information transfer would not explain a case where the toggle happened before the event.  Even if the speed of light were infinite, the information transfer would be at best instantaneous. 
Quote
It takes time for the neural signal to travel from the eyes to the brain and then to the hand.

Human reaction times are well below 500 ms.  Your use of the Libet delay as a cutoff is therefore invalid and would result in false positives.  

--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2007,08:22   

Hi Keiths,

You wrote..
     
Quote
No, superluminal information transfer would not explain a case where the toggle happened before the event.  Even if the speed of light were infinite, the information transfer would be at best instantaneous.

<sigh>

You really don't like General Relativity do you?

Ok, even with Special Relativity, what do you think would happen if you took a quick trip to the moon and back at twice the speed of light?

Don't let that negative square-root bother you, there are ways around it (complex numbers).

 
Quote
Human reaction times are well below 500 ms.  Your use of the Libet delay as a cutoff is therefore invalid and would result in false positives.
Libet's observation is that the "reaction time" for a conscious decision is 500ms.  This appears wrong on its face because things like hitting a fastball and playing professional tennis require reaction times faster than that.  However, Libet's scientific observation has withstood challenge.  Those studying consciousness have had to reevaluate their thinking to explain Libet's observation.  Dr. Hameroff has a straight-forward answer that is consistent with consciousness being interconnected with quantum effects.

BTW, by adding "step two" I have made it so you have to claim the first step would be a false positive and the second step (control) would be a false negative.

When does it become dogmatic refusal to accept this would be a confirmation of a scientific prediction?

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2007,09:08   

Hi all,

Here is an updated proposed experiment to test whether or not quantum effects contribute an explanation for the apparent paradox resulting from Libet's observation that there is a 500ms reaction time for conscious decisions.

Setup:
Electrical device that periodically (once every two seconds) flashes a red light or a green light.  Which light is flashed is based on either a quantum effect (quantum randomizer) or an algorithmic calculation (pseudorandom generator).  The quantum randomizer will be used or the primary testing and the pseudorandom generator for the control testing.

During testing, which light is flashed is recorded and timestamped.  Also timestamped and recorded is a two position toggle switch.  The toggle switch is spring loaded to default to an unconnected center position.  The switch can be toggled either left or right to indicate a choice.

Test:
The test subjects are told to move the switch based on the color light they see.  They are encouraged to do this as quickly as they can; even to the point of trying to anticipate which color will be shown.

Analysis:
The data will be statistically analyzed for correlation between the test subject’s choice with the actual light.  The correlation will then be plotted against the time delta between the light flash and the choice.  The graph of the primary testing will then be compared to the graph of the control testing.

It would be expected that choices made 500ms after the light flash would correlate well, whereas the choices made prior to the light flash wouldn’t correlate well at all.  The focus of the analysis would be to determine the crossover point between correlated and uncorrelated.

If, for example, the crossover point for the quantum randomizer is 100ms and the crossover point for the pseudorandom generator is 400ms, this would suggest conscious decisions are directly influenced by quantum effects.  However, if there is no significant difference between the crossover points, then this would be a negative result to the Orch-OR hypothesis’ prediction.

If anyone wants to "steal" this idea, by my guest.

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2007,11:41   

Quote
You really don't like General Relativity do you?

Ok, even with Special Relativity, what do you think would happen if you took a quick trip to the moon and back at twice the speed of light?

Don't let that negative square-root bother you, there are ways around it (complex numbers).

Neither do you apparently, how much energy is required to accelerate an object (with mass) to the speed of light? (Special or GR) Don't let the mathematics bother you, it's a simple integral.

Quote
The data will be statistically analyzed for correlation between the test subject’s choice with the actual light.  The correlation will then be plotted against the time delta between the light flash and the choice.  The graph of the primary testing will then be compared to the graph of the control testing.

It would be expected that choices made 500ms after the light flash would correlate well, whereas the choices made prior to the light flash wouldn’t correlate well at all.  The focus of the analysis would be to determine the crossover point between correlated and uncorrelated.

If, for example, the crossover point for the quantum randomizer is 100ms and the crossover point for the pseudorandom generator is 400ms, this would suggest conscious decisions are directly influenced by quantum effects.  However, if there is no significant difference between the crossover points, then this would be a negative result to the Orch-OR hypothesis’ prediction.

By the time the test subject sees the light, the quantum effect is over. The act of choosing which light to show has already collapsed the wave-function (the detector is an "observer"). Most likely the data would be Poisson distributed for both the quantum generator and pseudo-random, with the same average reaction time for both (around 500 ms). If you wanted better statistics, the timing should be randomized as well, so the observers can't anticipate when the light will be shown. Again, this wouldn't be a test for quantum effects, but how much more random is a pseudo-random generator than a quantum random generator to human perception.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2007,13:21   

Hi Creek Belly,

Now why did you have to go and ruin a perfectly good hypothetical by pointing out it is impossible?   ;)

With General Relativity and Minkowskian space-time, faster-than-light communication inherently means going backwards in time.  However, the ultimate scientific presumption is that the universe is consistent.  Even the possibility of a causal paradox would be counter to that presumption.

Therefore, it is impossible for normal information to go faster than the speed of light.  However, non-local (superluminal) quantum effects have been observed in experiment after experiment.  Quantum information doesn't run the risk of causal paradox because everything is in superposition until the whole interconnected mess collapses in an objective reduction.

Therefore quantum information can be superluminal/timeless. Based on experimental observations, quantum information flow is superluminal and, therefore, not resticted by a "flow" of time.

       
Quote
If you wanted better statistics, the timing should be randomized as well, so the observers can't anticipate when the light will be shown. Again, this wouldn't be a test for quantum effects, but how much more random is a pseudo-random generator than a quantum random generator to human perception.

I thought about varying the timing, but I want the test subjects to try to anticipate.  I would expect they would get pretty good at timing it, but not perfect.  I want a lot of data points in the 0ms to 500ms range.  I think my suggested setup would get that.

I find it interesting that you bring up the idea that a pseudo-random generator could somehow be "more random" than a quantum-based randomizer.  The Orch-OR prediction is that quantum effects aren't random.  We can, and would, run an analysis of our equipment to verify statistical randomness.  Pseudo-random generators aren't random by definition; they are a result of an algorithm.  It is even possible that a savant could figure out the algorithm and know the entire sequence.  This is allegedly impossible for the quantum randomizer.

That being said, I would agree that it is likely the quantum randomizer might be too crude to demonstrate what I would want it to demonstrate.  However, this is a two-way street.  If Orch-OR is right, the quantum effects are interconnected in both directions.  There would be just as much “encouragement” for the quantum randomizer to match a conscious will as there would be for the conscious decision to match the quantum randomizer result.  I think tuning the quantum randomizer’s decoherence time to 25ms (the period of the 40Hz EEG frequency) might help.

At any rate, I would offer that the classical prediction is that the algorithmic pseudo-random generators should be less random and more likely to be anticipated than a naturally occurring randomizer.  If the reverse is the case (by a statistically significant amount) I suggest it would be supportive of, at least, to the proposition that quantum effects are not truly random.  And it would come close to rationalization to suggest there is no significance to an observation that consciousness is more capable of anticipating (or manipulating) quantum effects as compared to a non-random, complex algorithm.

  
JAM



Posts: 517
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2007,15:58   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 07 2007,08:22)
Hi Keiths,

You wrote..
         
Quote
...Human reaction times are well below 500 ms.  Your use of the Libet delay as a cutoff is therefore invalid and would result in false positives.
Libet's observation is that the "reaction time" for a conscious decision is 500ms.  This appears wrong on its face because things like hitting a fastball and playing professional tennis require reaction times faster than that.

http://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/reactiontime.html

I get reaction times of 210-230 ms in this test, so Libet's observation doesn't merely appear to be wrong.
Quote
However, Libet's scientific observation has withstood challenge.

So you say. Where are the data?
Quote
 Those studying consciousness have had to reevaluate their thinking to explain Libet's observation.

Are you sure, or is that merely what someone else claims?

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2007,16:18   

Quote (JAM @ Oct. 07 2007,16:58)
Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 07 2007,08:22)
Hi Keiths,

You wrote..
         
Quote
...Human reaction times are well below 500 ms.  Your use of the Libet delay as a cutoff is therefore invalid and would result in false positives.
Libet's observation is that the "reaction time" for a conscious decision is 500ms.  This appears wrong on its face because things like hitting a fastball and playing professional tennis require reaction times faster than that.

http://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/reactiontime.html

I get reaction times of 210-230 ms in this test, so Libet's observation doesn't merely appear to be wrong.
 
Quote
However, Libet's scientific observation has withstood challenge.

So you say. Where are the data?
 
Quote
 Those studying consciousness have had to reevaluate their thinking to explain Libet's observation.

Are you sure, or is that merely what someone else claims?

I attained 180 ms once, 190 a few times times, but more consistently 200 to 220 ms, with occasional longer outliers.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2007,16:45   

Quote (JAM @ Oct. 07 2007,15:58)
http://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/reactiontime.html

I get reaction times of 210-230 ms in this test, so Libet's observation doesn't merely appear to be wrong.

Hi JAM,

Libet's results do hold up under scrutiny.  It's TP's explanation of them that is wanting.

Contra TP, Libet's delay is not a reaction time.

Follow this link for a nice description of Libet's findings.

--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2007,17:23   

Raising the stakes on reaction time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipwkZYqXFSs

http://www.bullettimereaction.com/

--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2007,18:16   

Hi Keiths,

Thank you for providing the link.  I would going to suggest that one myself.

And thanks everyone for providing data points on reaction times.

My focus would be on the conscious decision-making process. I still think it would be suggestive if quantum randomization resulted in choices being more correct and faster as opposed to algorithmic randomization.

  
JAM



Posts: 517
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 07 2007,19:21   

Quote (keiths @ Oct. 07 2007,16:45)
Quote (JAM @ Oct. 07 2007,15:58)
http://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/reactiontime.html

I get reaction times of 210-230 ms in this test, so Libet's observation doesn't merely appear to be wrong.

Hi JAM,

Libet's results do hold up under scrutiny.  It's TP's explanation of them that is wanting.

Contra TP, Libet's delay is not a reaction time.

Follow this link for a nice description of Libet's findings.

Thanks. I should've known.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 08 2007,09:10   

Hi TP,

I have to say that I get a bit frustrated with some of your posts. You tend to state things as fact when they are often merely conjecture. For example:

 
Quote
The observed reality shows that going in retrocausal circles is what the universe does at the quantum level. The universe is full of interconnected feedback loops. An infinite number of circles existing in Einsteinian/Minkowskian space-time.


I don't have a problem with conjectures and wild 'what if' statements, but it's helpful to be clear that they are conjectures. At least, it would help me. ;-)

Anyway -

I don't think your proposed experiments to show retrocaused actions make much sense. If you flash a light and then the subjects move a toggle, the light flash can't have retrocaused the movement, because it came first. The focus on reaction times and Libet limits don't change that.

You could ask people to move the toggle before the light flashes. Then you'd be doing standard precognition tests, which, AFAIK, have always failed miserably (as long as they were properly controlled).

The idea of comparing a quantum random number generator to an algorithmic one seems workable. Conventionally, assuming each generates a suitably "random" sequence, subjects' responses to them should be indistinguishable.

I think that's one of those experiments where you'll almost certainly get the conventional result, but if you did see a reproducible difference in subject response to the quantum sequence, (and if artifacts and experimental biases could be ruled out), it would be very hard for conventional science to explain it.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 08 2007,10:06   

Quote

Human reaction times are well below 500 ms.


Median human reaction times for certain stimulus/response contexts are well below 500 ms. However, appreciation of variance in human reaction times dates back to Maskelyn, who dismissed those people whose reaction time in recording transits was appreciably longer than his own. IIRC, some of the longer ones were over two seconds.

My wife, Diane Blackwood, wrote her dissertation on response time data concerning two species of cetaceans in a hearing test context with vocal responses. Average response time for T. truncatus in her experiments was 440 ms, and for D. leucas it was 660 ms. There was lots of variation, making doing the stats a challenging adventure. An interesting note, though, was that her research was apparently the first case where reaction time was studied across two species where the methods of training and testing were the same for both species.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 08 2007,10:59   

Judging from this, anything above 500 ms is an extreme outlier, at least among the people taking the test.

--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 08 2007,11:45   

What I'm saying is that the reaction time is both task-dependent and highly variable. The bell curve on the stats page you linked shows the latter quite nicely.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 08 2007,11:48   

Hi qetzal,

You wrote...
Quote
I have to say that I get a bit frustrated with some of your posts. You tend to state things as fact when they are often merely conjecture.


This is a reasonable observation, but allow me to offer something in defense.  A lot of what I am quoting here is a copy and paste from Telic Thoughts.  There, I have gotten in the habit (bad habit?) of making provocative scientific statements in hopes of provoking others to challenge me to defend it (thus getting them to think about my explanation).  That is consistent with my obvious agenda.

It is probably less necessary here.  Getting people to challenge the science doesn't appear to be a problem. ;)

Quote
The idea of comparing a quantum random number generator to an algorithmic one seems workable. Conventionally, assuming each generates a suitably "random" sequence, subjects' responses to them should be indistinguishable.

I think that's one of those experiments where you'll almost certainly get the conventional result, but if you did see a reproducible difference in subject response to the quantum sequence, (and if artifacts and experimental biases could be ruled out), it would be very hard for conventional science to explain it.


Thank you for recognizing possible value in the experiment.  I have been trying to explain what I see as the difference between what Orch-OR predicts and standard precognition.  Precognition implies an absolute state of the light being Red or Green in the future and the absolute knowledge of the state beforehand.

Orch-OR suggests all quantum effects are interconnected in superposition until Objective Reduction.  The light is both Red and Green (ala Schroedinger's Cat) as is the interconnected conscious "observation" of it.  Quantum information is this fuzzy superposition of multiple states.  In quantum computers, qubits are both 1 and 0 until decoherence.

With this in mind, if conscious decisions are tied to this superposition choice ("left" and "right") which is entangled with observation of the superposition of a light state ("red" and "green").  The objective reduction of either would cause both to instantly (as in superluminally) collapse to a single state.

It is this non-local joint collapse that had been observed in quantum experiments  (Note, the terms I am using presume the Copenhagen interpretation.  Those ascribing to the Many Worlds interpretation would explain things differently).

A practical purpose of this in living organism would be efficiency and speed.  This is what the folks at Berkeley lab are suggesting with their observation of quantum effects in photosynthesis. link

What my proposed experiment is looking for is the possibility that quantum entanglement speeds up conscious decisions.

This experiment wouldn't test for quantum entanglements within the body (e.g. eyes to brain to fingers) but would be looking for external quantum entanglements  (quantum randomizer to test subject).

I agree, it is a long shot, but I also agree with your assessment that "...if you did see a reproducible difference in subject response to the quantum sequence, (and if artifacts and experimental biases could be ruled out), it would be very hard for conventional science to explain it."

The unlikely results would be consistent with the Orch-OR model of consciousness.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 08 2007,11:54   

Hi keiths,

Thanks for the link.

As Wesley said, the time is task dependent.

I am looking for a reaction time that requires a more obvious decision.  Something more than responding to change.

I have noticed some on the web, but the links where broken.

If you run across one, could you let me know?

Thanks.

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 08 2007,12:33   

TP,

You know how to program, right?

If you're serious about doing the experiment, take the Javascript code for this test and modify it so that the light starts out yellow and then changes randomly to red or green, with the subject's job being to click in a red or green square to match the color.

You can use the Javascript Math.random() function to get pseudo-random numbers, and this site to get truly random numbers generated from a quantum process.

And try not to be too disappointed when the results come back negative.

--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 08 2007,12:47   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 08 2007,11:45)
What I'm saying is that the reaction time is both task-dependent and highly variable.

And dependent on the sensory modality, as well.  I've been reading that humans react faster to auditory vs. visual stimulus.

It certainly seems to be true for me.  My reaction times in the bullet game are substantially slower when I mute the sound on my computer, or when I play one of the other purely visual games.

--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 08 2007,17:15   

I got to 0.274 secs on the bullet game.  I am curious as to find how fast you got.  That was with sound off.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 08 2007,17:29   

H Keiths,

You wrote...
Quote
If you're serious about doing the experiment, take the Javascript code for this test and modify it so that the light starts out yellow and then changes randomly to red or green, with the subject's job being to click in a red or green square to match the color.


Ok, its done.  I used the "z" and the "/" keys to make it more responsive.

Here is the link.

Thank you for the suggestion.

Edit: I have updated the program.  However, I wasn't able to get the quantum randomizer to actually work yet, so I simulated expected results.  That is ok isn't it?  :p

  
keiths



Posts: 2041
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 08 2007,23:03   

Quote (guthrie @ Oct. 08 2007,17:15)
I got to 0.274 secs on the bullet game.  I am curious as to find how fast you got.  That was with sound off.

My times cluster around .240 without sound and .175 with sound.  Quite a difference.

--------------
And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number.  -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 08 2007,23:08   

Quote
This experiment wouldn't test for quantum entanglements within the body (e.g. eyes to brain to fingers) but would be looking for external quantum entanglements  (quantum randomizer to test subject).

No. The quantum random number generator doesn't work this way, there's no entanglement. It's most likely a polarizing beam splitter with an input polarization at 45 degrees to it (that's how most of the commercial ones work). To get entanglement you need a two-particle system in a superposition state, ie one that can't be written as a product state. What you're really measuring is the stochastic QM process, transmitted as classical bits. You can look at the bits long before it gets to the observer without changing the result.

Here's an example of entanglement. Suppose you had two bits, of which there are four possible states: 00,01,10, and 11. Let's say the probability of the first bit being 0 was p and the probability of the second bit being 0 was q. Then, the probability of measuring each of the four states is as follows:

00: pq
01: p*(1-q)
10: (1-p)*q
11: (1-p)*(1-q)

If p=q=0.5, then the probability of measuring any of the four states is 25%. If we write this as a vector, it looks like 0.25 * [1,1,1,1]. This is the classic representation of probability. Ok so far? Now we get to the quantum states. What are the requirements for QM? Namely the inner product of the state vector must be normalized to 1. Let's say that this is a pi0 decay, in that case the probability of measuring 00 and 11 is 0 (pi0's decay into a spin-up, spin-down pair, but the actual choice follows a stochastic process). From our classical equations, this means that p*q = 0, so either p or q is 0. But our equations also say that p*(1-q) != 0, so then p=1 and q=0.  If we look at the third equation, (1-p)*q != 0, we see that there's a contradiction, since the probability for measuring 10 is not 0 in this decay. This means it can't be expressed as a classical probability of bits. In fact, the state vector would be 0.707 * [ 0, 1, 1, 0], with either +/- or i's as long as the state vector had the correct inner product.  What constitutes entanglement? Take the state 0.707 * [1,1,0,0]. This is the state where 00 and 01 are equally likely, but 10 or 11 will never be measured. Does the measurement of one state fix the other? No. If we measure 0 on the first bit, there is no way to figure out what the other bit will be (50% 0, 50% 1). We can rewrite this as a tensor product of two spin 1/2 states: 0.707 * [1,0] x [1,1]. Quantum? Yes, it breaks the classical probabilities. Entangled? No.

Let's look at the state 0.707 * [0,1,1,0]. We already know it's quantum, is it entangled? If we measure 0 on the first bit does it fix the second bit? Yes. So there's no way to write [0,1,1,0] as the tensor product of two spin 1/2 systems. That's entanglement, which is not present in a quantum random number generator by design. Having any entanglement compromises the security of your protocol, which is why they use single photon generators such as quantum dots.

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,00:24   

Quote (guthrie @ Oct. 08 2007,23:15)
I got to 0.274 secs on the bullet game.  I am curious as to find how fast you got.  That was with sound off.

I haven't tried without sound, but I'm averaging around 0.185.

My best so far was (and no, I'm not lying, why would I?) 0.028.

I still don't know quite how I managed that, but hey.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,21:37   

If "quantum entanglement speeds up conscious decisions", how come it takes me so long to make up my mind about stuff? ;)

Henry

  
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