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  Topic: The Magic of Intelligent Design, A repost from Telic Thoughts< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,09:43   

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of The Future

One of the biggest obstacles to accepting ID hypotheses as scientific endeavors is their appeal to magic-like mechanisms. But what if a magic-like aspect in nature has been around so long that we don't see it for the magic it is? I suggest what we think of as randomness is, for all practical purposes, magic.

Let's take a hypothetical coin, we flip it, it comes up heads. We note that.

We flip it again, it comes up heads again, We note the pattern (two heads in a row).

We flip it again, it comes up tails.

The pattern is broken. Why? Is it "magic"?

We don't think of it that way because we are conditioned to expect flipped coins to "randomly" come up heads or tails even when we flip them in the exact same manner. The same would be true if we used a perfectly repeating mechanical device to flip the coin. Assuming the coin was perfectly balanced, the results would not be a pattern. A perfectly repeatable (deterministic) setup is impossible because quantum level effects are non-deterministic.

However, are quantum level effects random?

Before we try to answer that question, let's go back to flipping coins. This time we will flip three special coins. These special coins have an interesting aspect. They appear to respond to what is called. If "heads" is called at least one of the three coins will be heads. If "tails" is called, at least one of the three coins will be tails. After thousands and thousands of tests, the coins have never failed to do this. Further more, when "heads" are called all three coins will be heads one out of four times (not one out of eight). When "tails" are called all three coins will be tails one out of four times. At no time are all three coins heads when "tails" is called and at no time are all three coins tails when "heads" is called.

The thousands of consistent and repeatable experiments convinces even the most skeptical of scientist that the special coins are, indeed, special.

More experiments are preformed. It turns out that calling or "heads" or "tails" can be delayed until after the coins have landed (as long as no peeking is involved).

Further experiments show that three different people can flip the three coins separately. This exposed an very interesting property of the special coins. If the three people all call the same (either "heads" or "tails") then at least one of them gets what they call and, sometimes, all three of them get what they called as would be expected. However, if they don't call the same, sometimes none of them get what they call (happens one out of four times).

Once all the permutations are cataloged the special nature of the coins become even more apparent. The state of the third coin can be absolutely predicted after the first two coins are called and exposed.

For example, imagine the coins flipped and on the table with each of the three people covering it with their hands. The first person calls "heads", shows his coin, it is tails. The second person calls "heads", shows his coin, it is also tails. The third coin will ALWAYS be heads regardless of what the third person calls.

The experiment is reran, but this time the first two people call "tails" and their coins show tails again. The third coin will ALWAYS be tails regardless of what the third person calls.

Note that the third coin's state depended on what the other two people called NOT the whether the coins were heads or tails.

These special coins are special indeed. What natural explanations would explain the coin's behavior? Here are the non-metaphysical possibilities…

1. The third coin "magically" predicted the future.
2. The third coin "magically" changed state at the last moment
3. The coins are "magically" linked to people's consciousness

The magic described here is basically the reality of Greenberger–Horne–Zeilinger (GHZ) quantum states. Instead of calling heads or tails, the observers decide which quantum state (e.g. horizontal polarization) to measure. This magic-like effect has been experimentally tested and verified countless times. Its reality is not in question.

Even though quantum effects are non-deterministic they aren’t random.

You might ask what quantum level effects have to do with Intelligent Design.

First of all, it goes to show that magic-like effects can be scientific. There is also reason to believe quantum effects where instrumental to function in early life on Earth (front loaded?).

Recently, it was discovered that photosynthesis uses quantum mechanics. Photosynthesis is an extremely old biological mechanism.

DNA is being used as building blocks for quantum computers and the DNA structure and “code” is optimal for processing search algorithms. DNA/RNA defines what is or isn’t considered a living organism.

Finally, the Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR model of consciousness hypothesizes that consciousness is an artifact of quantum processing in microtubules. Microtubules are instrumental in living structures and organisms that appear to be aware of their surroundings.

Personally, I have serious criticisms concerning the apparent motives and past actions of the ID Movement, but it would be a mistake to dismiss all challenges to orthodox thinking as simply an appeal to the metaphysical because it may turn out that the magic is real.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,09:49   

WOO WOO ALL ABOARD THE DEPAK CHOPRA EXPRESS.





--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,10:23   

A more complete description of the GHZ game.

 
Quote
Even though quantum effects are non-deterministic they aren’t random.

You might ask what quantum level effects have to do with Intelligent Design.

First of all, it goes to show that magic-like effects can be scientific. There is also reason to believe quantum effects where instrumental to function in early life on Earth (front loaded?).

They are also non-trivial, what mechanism front loads a probability distribution other than potential perturbations?

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,10:24   

Quote
Finally, the Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR model of consciousness hypothesizes that consciousness is an artifact of quantum processing in microtubules. Microtubules are instrumental in living structures and organisms that appear to be aware of their surroundings.


Oh Telepathy ..why didn't you say so.

I'd be interested to know how LSD changes the quantum wave functions or frequencies of sub atomic particles in the brain. Or is that a quantum interaction *snicker*

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,10:37   

Hi Creeky Belly,

Thank you for providing the link.  It is the best description of the GHZ states I have seen yet.

I will probably use it in the future.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,10:37   

When the doors of perception are cleansed, all will appear as it is- infinite.

have you ever looked at your hand? I mean really looked at your hand?

--------------
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

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,10:47   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 25 2007,17:49)
WOO WOO ALL ABOARD THE DEPAK CHOPRA EXPRESS.




OH HA HA HA VERY FUNNY, I THINK YOU MEAN DR QUANTUM  HOMO

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
blipey



Posts: 2061
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,10:53   

Is this a joke?

No not the Chopra Express, you homos, the OP.

--------------
But I get the trick question- there isn't any such thing as one molecule of water. -JoeG

And scientists rarely test theories. -Gary Gaulin

   
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,11:03   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 25 2007,09:43)
We don't think of it that way because we are conditioned to expect flipped coins to "randomly" come up heads or tails even when we flip them in the exact same manner. The same would be true if we used a perfectly repeating mechanical device to flip the coin. Assuming the coin was perfectly balanced, the results would not be a pattern. A perfectly repeatable (deterministic) setup is impossible because quantum level effects are non-deterministic.

You may be interested to learn that this is not true. Not that this really speaks to your main point, of course.

Quote
You might ask what quantum level effects have to do with Intelligent Design.

First of all, it goes to show that magic-like effects can be scientific. There is also reason to believe quantum effects where instrumental to function in early life on Earth (front loaded?).

I expect quantum effects are instrumental to function of everything, living and non-living. I fail to see how that ties in to ID.

Quote
Recently, it was discovered that photosynthesis uses quantum mechanics. Photosynthesis is an extremely old biological mechanism.

When you get down to it, doesn't every chemical reaction use quantum mechanics? I imagine thermonuclear fusion uses quantum mechanics, and that's a much older 'mechanism.' What should we infer from that?
Quote
DNA is being used as building blocks for quantum computers and the DNA structure and “code” is optimal for processing search algorithms.

Optimal how, and compared to what? Any citations? Are you suggesting this implies something related to ID?  
Quote
DNA/RNA defines what is or isn’t considered a living organism.

Not really. At present, everything we know that's arguably living contains DNA and/or RNA, but lots of people think that life without DNA or RNA is at least theoretically possible.
Quote
Finally, the Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR model of consciousness hypothesizes that consciousness is an artifact of quantum processing in microtubules. Microtubules are instrumental in living structures and organisms that appear to be aware of their surroundings.

Microtubules are found in pretty much all eukaryotes, are they not? That doesn't prove much. Lipids are also instrumental in living structures, but I don't think that's evidence that consciousness is an artifact of quantum processing in lipids. (Note - I realize there's more to the microtubule hypothesis, and I'm not attempting to refute it here. I'm only pointing out that the ubiquity of microtubules in eukaryotes tells us nothing about their role in consciousness.)
Quote
Personally, I have serious criticisms concerning the apparent motives and past actions of the ID Movement, but it would be a mistake to dismiss all challenges to orthodox thinking as simply an appeal to the metaphysical because it may turn out that the magic is real.

Agreed. However, please note the key difference between QM and ID - evidence. As you acknowledge in your post, we can set up conditions where these seemingly magical QM effects can be conclusively demonstrated. We can state what observations are expected in certain situations, according to QM.

ID does none of that. It makes no claims about what we should observe. It offers no demonstrations or concrete evidence. It merely claims evolution is inadequate, therefore ID.

I don't reject ID because it seems too magical or counterintuitive. I reject it because it makes no claims, offers no predictions, and has no useful explanatory power.

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,11:13   

Shorter TP: There's stuff we don't understand. Could be frontloading.  Back to gazing at navel.

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

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,11:40   

Hi blipey,

You asked...
Quote
Is this a joke?

A lot of serious scientists have asked the same question.

Here is a quote from the link Creeky Belly supplied...

"Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum mechanics cannot possibly have understood it." - Niels Bohr

"Quantum wierdness" and "spooky action at a distance" are terms used by the likes of Einstein.

Even I am not too sure how seriously I take this stuff.  For example, I have added "aka Quantum Quack" to my login name when posting to science blogs.

It is reality.  Whether or not it is a joke may depend on your Theism/Atheism status.

"Hah! Let them try to figure THIS out."

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,11:41   

The "magic" in your coin example is a result of your conflating macroscopic objects with quantum systems and asking us to expect that the properties of one "should" also adhere to the other. With no justification. Why should we expect quantum-scale systems to have the properties of macro-scale objects? If we in fact shouldn't, all the magic drains away.

Granted, we are left with some counter-intuitive behavior at very small scales, but, in the same vein, that is only because our intuitions are based on our experiences, which all occur in the macro world.

Similarly, appealing to quantum woo to explain the "mystery" of consciousness is persuasive only if you insist that consciousness is somehow so inexplicable as to seem magical. It doesn't to me, so I am unpersuaded that this is anything more than navel-gazing. (And yes, I've read Penrose on the subject.)

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

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,12:46   

More magic:

http://www.breitbart.com/article....1&cat=0

Multiple universes in with a shout.

Looks like any bad Dembski math may be now SOL. Our numerator crushes your denominator. Oh, UPB becomes meaningless if true.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
blipey



Posts: 2061
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,13:13   

Hi TP,

I think you misunderstood me.  My joke reference was not in reference to QM.  As for being shocked by the theory of QM, shocked may not be quite the right word.  As I am not a physicist, I don't claim any special insight into QM, but I find it interesting.  My 15 hours of university classes in QM made me think it is cool, if difficult to wrap my brain around.

I'm pretty sure my religious leanings have zero bearing on whether or not I think QM is cool.  When I was younger, I would certainly identify as a practicing Christian (though certainly not of the biblical literalism variety).  I no longer identify myself as such.  It is interesting to note, however, that my views on such scientific matters and their "coolness"  factor is the same now as it was then.

My joke reference was more in reference to equating randomness with magic.  Your comment seems to indicate that you equate magic with stuff we don't know yet.  Fine, I guess I can go along with that in the same sense that Clarke meant it.

However, the magic of ID is not this same thing; your analogy is bad. The magic of ID requires (at least at some level of recursivity) actual magic--something that is supernatural.

--------------
But I get the trick question- there isn't any such thing as one molecule of water. -JoeG

And scientists rarely test theories. -Gary Gaulin

   
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,14:01   

Continuing...

As C.J.O'Brien indicated, the reason quantum mechanics appears weird is because our intuition is based on our experiences in the macro world.  What if the quantum world is the one that is normal and it is the macro world that is weird?

Our intuitions perceive matter as solid objects obeying the laws of Newtonian physics operating in a universe of Euclidean geometry.  The concept of time is like a frame by frame movie with each frame containing a copy of the entire 3 dimensional universe.

In 1905 Einstein came along and started messing up this view.  I suggest the implications of what was started 100 years ago are just now beginning to fully manifest themselves.

Einstein proposed Special Relativity as a temporary, and incomplete, explanation of scientific observations.  The idea was to suggest multiple frames of reference to deal with the constant speed of light.  No one frame of reference was supreme, everything was “relative”.  Dealing with the Twin Paradox was done by mumbling something about accelerations.  This allowed for keeping the Euclidean geometry view of the universe.

General Relativity presumed a fixed, inertial frame of reference.  This model was also consistent with scientific observations.  It accomplished this by suggesting an entirely different geometry for the universe, Minkowskian Geometry (Minkowski was one of Einstein's teachers).  Space/time has four complex dimensions and is curved.  The shortest distance between two points is no longer a straight line.  The Twin Paradox is solved as a geometry problem (the traveling twin takes a short cut).

So we had two mathematical models that were consistent with scientific observations.  Which one was correct?  While General Relativity was pretty much presumed correct, when an experiment was conducted with a jet flying around the world (both East and West), no doubt remained.  Minkowskian Geometry is reality, Euclidean geometry is not.

So what is the big deal about Minkowskian Geometry?

In Euclidean geometry the change in distance (dL) can be calculated by taking the square-root of the sum of the squares.
IOW, dL^2 = dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2.

In Minkowskian Geometry, the equation becomes dL^2 = dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2 – dt^2.

The fourth complex dimension, time, contains the square-root of negative one.  Squaring it results in a negative.  This is how the traveling twin can take a shortcut.  Things get interesting at the speed of light.  In the case of a photon traveling from a star light-years away to a detector on Earth, the Minkowskian distance traveled is ZERO!

This brings us to quantum mechanics and GHZ states.  There is no mystery or even magic in understanding how three separate photons could be entangled in Minkowskian Geometry.  Heck, they can be thought of as the same photon! EPR paradox, superposition, etc all melt away once you combine General Relativity with Quantum Theory.  However, particles lose their identity in the process.

There are two main prevailing quantum interpretations, Many Worlds and Copenhagen derivatives.  Penrose’s OR model is a Copenhagen derivative.  With Penrose, everything is a wavefunction.  For example, a “photon” is a standing wave in Minkowskian Geometry.
Decoherence is the Objective Reduction (OR) of the wavefunction (other Copenhagen derivatives will refer to this as the waveform collapse).

Many Worlds is a metaphysical/mathematical construct that is offered to allow for the dogmatic resistance against giving up the idea that materialist particles are operating in an Euclidean universe. Richardthughes provided a link supporting a mathematical model.

Old habits die hard, but they do die...  eventually.

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,16:01   

Quote
The fourth complex dimension, time, contains the square-root of negative one.

Actually, this is a misinterpretation of the concept of space-time. There are different ways of moving through it:
time-like: t^2 >> x^2+y^2+z^2 represent objects moving within same light cone.
space-like: t^2 << x^2+y^2+z^2 represent objects in different light cones (causally separated)
light-like: t^2 = x^2+y^2+z^2 -> L=0 represents the space-time for objects at the speed of light (gravity, photons, etc)

The GHZ game can be resolved by noting that in order to compare the states through causally separated entangled pairs (or trios) information must be exchanged which requires GR causality.

 
Quote
In 1905 Einstein came along and started messing up this view.  I suggest the implications of what was started 100 years ago are just now beginning to fully manifest themselves.

“Examples of this sort [Maxwell's magnetic flux experiment], together with the unsuccessful attempts to discover the motion of the earth relatively to the ‘light medium’, suggest the phenomena of electrodynamics as well as of mechanics possess no properties corresponding to the idea of absolute rest.” -Einstein

 
Quote
Heck, they can be thought of as the same photon! EPR paradox, superposition, etc all melt away once you combine General Relativity with Quantum Theory.  However, particles lose their identity in the process.

In the classical sense they can't, only probabilistically can you tie them together.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,16:12   

TP, (Unfortunate acronym, I'm sorry)

This is sort of neat in a kind of swell sort of way but I'm confused. Are you saying that Dembski (et al) isn't a crank peddling snake oil? Because that seems unrelated to this topic and touches a few nerves. Kind of makes me get all tingly so I have to be alone for a few minutes y'know?

Your quantum dealy is cool, fascinating and many other wonderful fabulous adjectives but relating it to intelligent design is a bit weird. I mean, how do you relate something so swell like quantum stuff with something so slimy and icky like ID?

That's all. Thanks.

--------------
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: Sep. 25 2007,17:00   

Hi BWE,

You wrote...
     
Quote
TP, (Unfortunate acronym, I'm sorry)

No apologies necessary.  I don't take my anonymous pseudonym that seriously.

You wrote...
     
Quote
This is sort of neat in a kind of swell sort of way but I'm confused. Are you saying that Dembski (et al) isn't a crank peddling snake oil?

We are talking about dr-putting-pepper-on-boxing-gloves, right?  

I am a very vocal critic of the ID Movement.  I am appalled by how Dembski is using his intelligence to manipulate people who earnestly believe his BS.

Nothing would delight me more than to watch Dembski squirm at having a new scientific hypothesis emerge that diverges from strict "Darwinism", but doesn't support the existence of his personal God.

Chances are some ID Scientists would get some credit.  Imagine Dembski’s dilemma if that would happen. :p

     
Quote
Your quantum dealy is cool, fascinating and many other wonderful fabulous adjectives but relating it to intelligent design is a bit weird. I mean, how do you relate something so swell like quantum stuff with something so slimy and icky like ID?


First of all, I am an engineer, not a scientist.  I like making models.  I like figuring things out.  I got curious with ID during the Dover trial (btw, the verdict was anti-climatic for me, it was that obvious).  In some ways, Behe appeared to have a spark of an actual idea.  So I starting investigating.  I started out searching through Behe's and Dembski's stuff but quickly got banned from UD.  This is when I got hooked up with Telic Thoughts.

Joy may be insane, but she knew all this stuff.  Between internet searches and reading things from Stephen Hawking and Penrose and Hameroff, it has clicked in my engineering mind.

I have presented this on several science blogs.  Let's just say the reception wasn't conducive for furthering conversation.

Associating it with ID isn't that hard.  ID proponents have a very flexible definition of "Intelligence".  And, to them, design practically means "not random". My ideas are supportive of MikeGene's front loading.

MikeGene supports it by letting me Guest Host on Telic Thoughts.  That irritates a lot of the religious Culture Warriors (I am clearly an Atheist in their eyes). It is pro-science.

Best of all, it provokes thinking on both sides.

Why not?

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,17:14   

Why not indeed: carry on. Tis an interesting diversion and certainly causes fewer painful callouses.

--------------
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

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,17:36   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 25 2007,10:49)
WOO WOO ALL ABOARD THE DEPAK CHOPRA EXPRESS.

No, man, it's The Dancing Woo Woo Masters. It's The D'OH! of Physics.

--------------
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

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,18:48   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 25 2007,17:00)
Associating it with ID isn't that hard.  ID proponents have a very flexible definition of "Intelligence".  And, to them, design practically means "not random". My ideas are supportive of MikeGene's front loading.

No offense, but I don't think you've provided any evidence of such support. Not here, anyway.

As far as I can see, your 'argument' on this thread boils down to: "If QM is real even though it seems supernatural, then ID and front loading could also be real even though they seem supernatural." That's not a valid argument, and I don't think it supports ID any more than it supports pixies and fairies.

Have I missed something?

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,19:02   

Hi Creeky Belly,

As to Einstein's opinion on an interial frame of reference;

From a paper titled Einstein’s Ether: Why did Einstein Come Back to the Ether?

"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..."

To my statement "The fourth complex dimension, time, contains the square-root of negative one."

You wrote...
 
Quote
Actually, this is a misinterpretation of the concept of space-time. There are different ways of moving through it:
time-like: t^2 >> x^2+y^2+z^2 represent objects moving within same light cone.
space-like: t^2 << x^2+y^2+z^2 represent objects in different light cones (causally separated)
light-like: t^2 = x^2+y^2+z^2 -> L=0 represents the space-time for objects at the speed of light (gravity, photons, etc)


You might want to read Penrose's The Road to Reality.

Penrose provides hypothetical geometries that could have been "real".  Using complex numbers for dimensional quantities isn't a problem.  Actually, not using complex numbers makes things unrealistic.  Otherwise, you end of trying to segment things artificially in an attempt to avoid negative square roots (like you did above).  Complex numbers are no more artificial than irrational numbers.

There is no reason to be afraid of complex dimensions.

On page 413, Penrose explains the space-like equation is...

dl^2 = -dt^2 + dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2

He also indicates that the orientation of the complex numbers is arbitrary.  Therefore, the time-like equation is...

ds^2 = dt^2 - dx^2 - dy^2 - dz^2

...which makes it easier to deal with things that stay inside the null cones (you called them "light cones").

The value of "ds" is equivelent to a watch or a clock.  This is why the solution to the Twin Paradox (Penrose calls it the "clock paradox") is easy in Minkowskian geometry.

BTW, if you are suggesting their is no interial frame of reference, how do you explain the Twin Paradox?  The problem looks the same to both Twins.  Each twin is standing still in his/her frame of reference and the other twin is the one moving.  Why are the results different?


 
Quote
The GHZ game can be resolved by noting that in order to compare the states through causally separated entangled pairs (or trios) information must be exchanged which requires GR causality.


Say that three times fast.  Better yet, say it in terms the listening audience can understand.

I think they may figure out you aren't saying anything that contradicts what I said.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,20:30   

Continuing...

Combining General Relativity with Quantum Theory isn't too controversial by itself.  Qetzal correctly pointed out this doesn't explain much, yet.  And blipey's question about the magic of randomness is still unanswered.

Since we don't generally zip around at light speed nor deal with things at the sub-atomic level, this isn't very disturbing, yet.  With maybe the exception of thinking about about that wave/particle distinction.

However, this is just the beginning.  The DEPAK CHOPRA EXPRESS has yet to build up a full head of steam.

Arguing about whether photons are waves or particles is practically academic since photons are massless.  The Copenhegan school of thought was that photons started out as waves and collapsed into particles when appropriate.  At the time, the alternative was to take a wait-and-see attitude.

Even when electrons where shown to exhibit wave/particle duality, they still are strange enough and small enough to accept as possible.  Ions?  Well...  Some people started to get nervous and got creative.  Everett came up with the idea of alternative realities being constantly created, the Many Worlds interpretation has born (1957)  Not many people liked the idea.  Most still held onto the Copenhegan school of thought, others continued to wait for a better explanation.

When full fledged molecules (e.g. Bucky Balls) were shown to be both a particle and a wave, the Many Worlds interpretation started getting a lot of supporters (even if they had to hold their noses to do so).

The alternative was to totally embrace the idea that there is no such thing as particles, just wavefunctions.

As an electrical engineer, this isn't that strange.  A finite electrical square pulse can be thought of as a sum of multiple sine waves.  And it is more than just thinking of it that way, a square pulse IS the sum of multiple sine waves which can be separated using electrical filters.

Once you get over the loss of particles, understanding quantum effects becomes easier.  The dual slit experiment is a piece of cake.  Two slits, interference pattern. One slit, particle-like behavior.  GHZ state?  Again, no problem.  The wave(s) are interconnected in Minkowskian space/time.  All observations and states are directly connected to each other and state changes occur wherever and WHENEVER they are needed.

Continuing this line of logic forces one to realize that ALL quantum effects are interconnected in Minkowskian space/time.  And since time is just another dimension, the interconnection occurs across all space and all time.

This makes the entire universe (space and time) one large wavefunction in Minkowskian geometry.

Think of a Mandelbrot Set.  Here is one ithat claims to be as large as our universe.  And that is just one complex dimension with a very simple function.

Are we having fun yet?

I mention the Mandelbrot Set because it illustrates something that is non-changing yet chaotic.  In the dimension of time, it would give the illusion of randomness.  I suggest there is no such thing as natural occurring randomness.

For a long time science was comfortable with Newtonian determinism.  The idea was that if the position and velocity of every particle could be known for a given time then everything could be calculated for the future and the past.

This is similar.  Things only look random because they can be extremely complicated.

I still haven't got to the ID part yet, but I think I need to break here before going on.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,20:34   

TP so far you have only wasted space.

Aside from rationalizing your political stance on untenable principles which is to say enabling the dishonesty and charlatanism of ID players which must make you seem a radical outside the box thinker...to you. *yawn*

So far you have failed to improve the image that ID is a grab bag of flaky poseurs indulging in obscurantism aka religious theology for political ends aka theocracy.


Less useless math please, its pure hand waving and trivial obscurantism PARTICULARLY when you REPEAT IT.

The square root of negative one to you seems to be magic however it is only used to describe a rotating vector and collapse a dimension to make a physical problem amenable to mathematics. Get over it.

If you are discussing the magic of ID you know yourself that no math is not only a requirement but an absolute necessity since their followers are barely literate let alone above boiling point on the IQ scale.

You like love Penrose? How about taking up a better lost cause than ID and try for a Nobel for him………I think that has a better chance of success *giggle….gaffaw*

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,20:51   

Quote
Arguing about whether photons are waves or particles is practically academic since photons are massless.


Yes but they have momentum and maybe you could explain why they can't escape a black hole.

....hey wait a minute this has what to do with ID ..again?

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,21:25   

continuing...

Hearing no objections from my last comment (I waited a whole five minutes), I will presume everyone understands and agrees that quantum effects are interconnected both in space and time.

The first thing about this that starts smelling like ID is the concept of a teleological universe.

The purpose of our teleological universe is to be internally consistent.

And, yes, I said that with a straight face.

You may not consider it a very aggressive purpose, but it is a purpose and it is better than anything other ID proponents can forward without suggesting some intent of a designer or designers.

The point is that the universe must have a consistent wavefunction with no discontinuities from the beginning to the end of time, or it wouldn't exist (see Anthropic principle).

The wavefunction is purposeful design.  I don’t know who or what designed the wavefunction.  Since I embrace Gould’s NOMA.  I am of the opinion we will never be able to find out via empirical methods.

However, to those inclined to believe in an omniscient, timeless designer we will call God for a lack of a better name, this provides a mechanism by which such a designer could operate.

Whether via anthropic principle or divine whim, life may be necessary to make the teleological universe complete.  One wild idea is that life will bring an orderly end to the universe because some stupid scientists manage to create a naked singularity in their lab.

If the universe needs something to be consistent, than interconnected quantum effects will make it happen and time order isn’t a restriction.  While quantum effects are inherent in both living and non-living material, living material is inherently more flexible.

MikeGene’s front loading is essentially looking for a preponderance of clues that a future need was satisfied by a past feature.

Retrocausality would be something that interconnected quantum effects would demonstrate.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,21:46   

Hi K.E.

You wrote...
 
Quote
Yes but [photons] have momentum and maybe you could explain why they can't escape a black hole.

If you are not careful, people might get the impression you understand and are interested in this stuff.   :D

Gravity bends Minkowskian space/time.  Either that, or bends in Minkowskian space/time are what cause gravity.

Either way the photon particle/wavefunction gets wrapped up in the fold.

BTW, have you already figured out that gravity is the only thing left to possibly be considered real?

I bet you have.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,22:02   

How many unsupported assertions are you prepared to cram into one post?  
Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 25 2007,21:25)
The purpose of our teleological universe is to be internally consistent.
...
The wavefunction is purposeful design.
...
Whether via anthropic principle or divine whim, life may be necessary to make the teleological universe complete.
...
If the universe needs something to be consistent, than interconnected quantum effects will make it happen and time order isn’t a restriction.
...
While quantum effects are inherent in both living and non-living material, living material is inherently more flexible.
...
MikeGene’s front loading is essentially looking for a preponderance of clues that a future need was satisfied by a past feature.

Retrocausality would be something that interconnected quantum effects would demonstrate.

The ability to imagine or assert something is not evidence for its reality.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,22:17   

Quote
The wavefunction is purposeful design.

Says you .....oranges are orange.

Quote

I don’t know who or what designed the wavefunction.


Schrodinger


Quote

Since I embrace Gould’s NOMA.  I am of the opinion we will never be able to find out via empirical methods.


From someone who boldly stated that the photon is massless what a pussy!

You should know there is an upper limit on the mass of a photon and is only massless because no one has measured its mass yet.

In any case same old obscurantism pages and pages of sciency gafflegab then "I believe in my faith".

Why bother?

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,22:17   

Quote
You might want to read Penrose's The Road to Reality.

Penrose provides hypothetical geometries that could have been "real".  Using complex numbers for dimensional quantities isn't a problem.  Actually, not using complex numbers makes things unrealistic.  Otherwise, you end of trying to segment things artificially in an attempt to avoid negative square roots (like you did above).  Complex numbers are no more artificial than irrational numbers.

What you added was meaningless. When events are space-like, they are not causally connected, so you don't interpret the result the same way. I chose to use an actual General Relativity text, in this case Sean Carroll's Spacetime and Geometry which is based on the work of Thorne, Weinberg, Taylor, Wheeler, Hawking, Ellis, and Nash. There are actually different schools of thought on which convention to use, but the negative one is added to the metric, not the actual vector. If you want to classify imaginary numbers above as space-like separation that's fine, but you're arguing a convention, nothing more.

 
Quote
BTW, if you are suggesting their is no interial frame of reference, how do you explain the Twin Paradox?  The problem looks the same to both Twins.  Each twin is standing still in his/her frame of reference and the other twin is the one moving.  Why are the results different?

I never made such a claim, merely that relativity was built up from electrodynamics as a way of satisfying Maxwell's equations in moving reference frames. No point was being made, just wanted to share some of his words. The twin paradox represents and equivalence in space-time. In this case dL^2 must be the same for both the traveling twin and the stationary twin. In the earth's frame of reference (with the speed of light set to 1):

Stationary twin:
by definition x,y,z=0, let's say 1 year passes and the brother travels 0.5 light years, the observer will see
L^2 = t^2 - x^2-y^2-z^2 = 1^2 - 0.5^2 -> L = 0.75 light-years

Traveling twin:
How much time has passed in his frame?
L^2 = t^2-x^2-y^2-z^2 -> 0.75^2 = t^2 -> t = 0.75 years

Time passed for stationary: 1 year. Time for traveling: 0.75 years.

 
Quote
Say that three times fast.  Better yet, say it in terms the listening audience can understand.

I think they may figure out you aren't saying anything that contradicts what I said.

My point was that even though things like collapsing the wave function seem to violate relativity, they don't. You still need to compare the results, which will subject to the rules of space-time. I wasn't really trying to contradict, mainly to point out the practicality of so-called faster than light communication.

 
Quote
This makes the entire universe (space and time) one large wavefunction in Minkowskian geometry.

Quite. The structure of our universe was built up from density and tensor perturbations (quantum effects), much of that information can be found in things like the CMB. However, the unfortunate result from QM shows that as you increase the energy level, you revert to a classical state, in which case the wavefunction really becomes indistinguishable from a classical description.

 
Quote
Hearing no objections from my last comment (I waited a whole five minutes), I will presume everyone understands and agrees that quantum effects are interconnected both in space and time.

Unless you start talking about inflationary epochs, in which regions of the universe became causally disconnected as it expanded. I recommend Peacock's Physical Cosmology or Peeble's Inflationary Cosmology for more information.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,22:29   

This one has potential.

TP, welcome and thank you for spicing up a dull evening but I have a few issues.

I sit firmly is the "no random acts" camp and if I interpret Gene correctly then life becomes inevitable as I also believe but to echo k.e., creeky, et. al. this falls well short of ID in any form.

Even dropping "intelligent" you're still left with "design" and that means "intent".  Whether is is the "intent" of God, the Cosmic Mind or the Circle of Life doesn't matter because it is an unmeasurable property.  Using science to attempt to support the existence of an unmeasurable property violates NOMA in a very sneaky way.  Just because our ignorance creates the appearance of "magic" doesn't establish the possibility of other truly magical claims.  I fear you fall into the same trap as other IDers by extrapolating science outside of it's valid application.

That being said, this is very entertaining and I await more.  Go ahead, convince me.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,22:34   

Hi qetzal,

If you have heard a better pro-ID presention, I would like to know where.

I would even be interested in knowing about any that matched this one.

Ok, let's play the game...

"The purpose of our teleological universe is to be internally consistent."

This is a falsifiable statement.  It is being tested each and every day.  It the universe should suddenly quit being consistent we will know it.  Then again, maybe we won't.

"The wavefunction is purposeful design."

This follows from the first statement and the reference to Anthropic principle that you skipped over.  Your problem may be in the word "design".  I had indicated earlier that design, for all practical purposes, means non-random.

"Whether via anthropic principle or divine whim, life may be necessary to make the teleological universe complete."

You did notice the word "may", right?  I provided an example of how it "may" be necessary.


"If the universe needs something to be consistent, than interconnected quantum effects will make it happen and time order isn’t a restriction."
I posted three long comments explaining this one.

"While quantum effects are inherent in both living and non-living material, living material is inherently more flexible."

Don't like the word "flexible"?  How about more utilitarian?

"MikeGene’s front loading is essentially looking for a preponderance of clues that a future need was satisfied by a past feature."

Are you demanding citations and references to MikeGene's works?

"Retrocausality would be something that interconnected quantum effects would demonstrate."

Interconnected via space and time, means interconnected via space and time.  Time is just another dimension that extends in two directions.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,22:58   

Hi Skeptic,

You wrote...
 
Quote
This one has potential.

TP, welcome and thank you for spicing up a dull evening

Thank you and you are welcome.

 
Quote
I sit firmly is the "no random acts" camp and if I interpret Gene correctly then life becomes inevitable as I also believe but to echo k.e., creeky, et. al. this falls well short of ID in any form.


Getting past the "no random acts" is usually the tough one.  We are agreeing more than we are disagreeing.

Quote
Even dropping "intelligent" you're still left with "design" and that means "intent".  Whether is is the "intent" of God, the Cosmic Mind or the Circle of Life doesn't matter because it is an unmeasurable property.


au contrare...  The lord of all things ID provides the measuring stick called CSI.  And, by eliminating all chance hypotheses (by eliminating randomness itself) I get a perfect score for calling this design.

At least using Dembski's definitions.

 
Quote
Using science to attempt to support the existence of an unmeasurable property violates NOMA in a very sneaky way.  Just because our ignorance creates the appearance of "magic" doesn't establish the possibility of other truly magical claims.  I fear you fall into the same trap as other IDers by extrapolating science outside of it's valid application.


Are you sure you are not conflating "design" with "purpose"?

I agree that I am hedging over the NOMA line a little bit to suggest a purpose.  But, gee golly, it is such a modest purpose.  At one time I played with the idea that the purpose of the universe was to exist.  But I thought that might be too cute and, besides, it amounts to the same thing as being intentionally consistent.

Other than that, I have tried to be very respectful of the NOMA line.  At TT people complain that I am the NOMA cop.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 25 2007,23:08   

Here’s MY theory of ID.

1. It attracts cranks like no other theory. Whether this is a quantum property or not, their hand wave function is orders of magnitude larger than their mass

2. For each and every ID supporter there is an equal and imaginary number of ID theories (unless they have an IQ south of Dave Tard)

3. If ID succeeds the soldiers for christ will set their targets on changing the US Constitution to remove the church state separation ........and if ID doesn't succeed it will......oh never mind.


4. ID promoters will co-opt any science to promote their cause (scientism)

5. ID appears to be inflating …using the shrinking observer model.

Interpretation of quantum mechanics

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,00:12   

Quote
Thought Provoker



Posts: 55
Joined: April 2007
 (Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,05:46 ?  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi K.E.

You wrote...
Quote

Yes but [photons] have momentum and maybe you could explain why they can't escape a black hole.

If you are not careful, people might get the impression you understand and are interested in this stuff.  

Gravity bends Minkowskian space/time.  Either that, or bends in Minkowskian space/time are what cause gravity.

Either way the photon particle/wavefunction gets wrapped up in the fold.


......What again does ID predict in this case?

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,00:33   

Quote

The lord of all things ID provides the measuring stick called CSI.


When has anything been measured in CSI?

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

    
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,00:58   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 25 2007,22:34)
Hi qetzal,

If you have heard a better pro-ID presention, I would like to know where.

I would even be interested in knowing about any that matched this one.

Oh, I agree yours is as good as any and better than most. For what that's worth. ;-)
 
Quote
Ok, let's play the game...

"The purpose of our teleological universe is to be internally consistent."

This is a falsifiable statement.  It is being tested each and every day.  It the universe should suddenly quit being consistent we will know it.  Then again, maybe we won't.

No, "The universe is internally consistent" is a falsifiable statement. The fact that the universe is (so far) internally consistent does not demonstrate that consistency is the universe's purpose. It's the assertion of purpose that I object to, not the statement about consistency.
   
Quote
"The wavefunction is purposeful design."

This follows from the first statement and the reference to Anthropic principle that you skipped over.  Your problem may be in the word "design".  I had indicated earlier that design, for all practical purposes, means non-random.

No, my problem is with the adjective "purposeful." It implies conscious intention in the design, an intention that you have not justified.
   
Quote
"Whether via anthropic principle or divine whim, life may be necessary to make the teleological universe complete."

You did notice the word "may", right?  I provided an example of how it "may" be necessary.

Exactly. It may be necessary, or it may not. It's just a statement of possibility. Which is fine, as far as it goes, but that doesn't support anything one way or another.
   
Quote
"If the universe needs something to be consistent, than interconnected quantum effects will make it happen and time order isn’t a restriction."
I posted three long comments explaining this one.

But you haven't justified that the universe needs something to be consistent. So, again, this is really just a statement of possibility.
   
Quote
"While quantum effects are inherent in both living and non-living material, living material is inherently more flexible."

Don't like the word "flexible"?  How about more utilitarian?

I don't accept either. You haven't defined what flexible or utilitarian mean in this context, or shown how living material is more flexible/utilitarian, or shown how greater flexibility/utilitarianism relates to quantum effects, or tied that putative relationship to the overall ID hypothesis.
   
Quote
"MikeGene’s front loading is essentially looking for a preponderance of clues that a future need was satisfied by a past feature."

Are you demanding citations and references to MikeGene's works?

No. I wasn't objecting to that sentence by itself. I quoted it because your next sentence refers to it. (Although I will note, in passing, that most people mean something much more specific by "front loading." If I eat that banana in my office tomorrow, my future hunger will have been satisfied by my past purchase of a banana. Would MikeGene consider that front loading?)
   
Quote
"Retrocausality would be something that interconnected quantum effects would demonstrate."

Interconnected via space and time, means interconnected via space and time.  Time is just another dimension that extends in two directions.

Right. So if the purpose of the universe is to be consistent, and if the universe needs life to be complete, and if interconnected quantum effects allow for retrocausality, then that's consistent with a weak version of ID that boils down to "life was inevitable."

Sure. If we posit those ifs and that version of ID, I agree. It's consistent. So what? To me, it seems like your whole point is to find a way to argue that some version of ID could be true, based on QM. If so, then you've succeeded. I, for one, will happily concede that certain versions of ID could be true, at least hypothetically.

But hypothetically, there could also be a teapot in orbit around Mars. If I claim (without empirical evidence) that the universe may require a celestial teapot to be internally consistent, does that make the teapot's existence significantly more likely?

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,01:17   

actually, I would disagree, that version of ID is nothing more than Monday-morning quarterbacking.  The fact that all these things may be true still does not mean design.  Just as non-random does not mean design it just means causation.  You may be using design in a completely different way but ID uses it to mean purposeful and deliberate which is not the same as inevitable.  Your proof may mean nothing more than the Universe appears to have designed itself when you look back from this point but there can be no definitive evidence either way.  I'll look up CSI to see what you're implying and maybe you should reevaluate "design" in the context you are using.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,01:59   

Quote

I'll look up CSI


Here's a helping hand on that.

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

    
Occam's Toothbrush



Posts: 555
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,03:55   

Quote (qetzal @ Sep. 26 2007,01:58)
So if the purpose of the universe is to be consistent, and if the universe needs life to be complete, and if interconnected quantum effects allow for retrocausality, then that's consistent with a weak version of ID that boils down to "life was inevitable."

It's impressive what ID brings to the table in terms of synthesizing the imaginary evidence.  If you ever want to know what would be true if some new and completely made-up set of observations was taken, just ask an IDiot.  Assuming of course that the answer you're looking for is goddidit.

--------------
"Molecular stuff seems to me not to be biology as much as it is a more atomic element of life" --Creo nut Robert Byers
------
"You need your arrogant ass kicked, and I would LOVE to be the guy who does it. Where do you live?" --Anger Management Problem Concern Troll "Kris"

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,07:12   

I didn't have time to read the link Wesley provided.  But I suggest Dembski might be a better authoritative source for how ID defines what is meant by "specification" and, therefore, design

Here is a link to a Dembski paper on the subject.

"Since specifications are those patterns that are supposed to underwrite a design inference, they need, minimally, to entitle us to eliminate chance. Since to do so, it must be the case that
X = –log2[ 120^10 · S(T)·P(T|H)] > 1,
we therefore define specifications as any patterns T that satisfy this inequality."

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,07:23   

Stand back everyone TP's brain has just gone naked singularity!!

TP You DID post that without the slightest hint of irony, right?

Lets see if you can do a better job at Sancho Panzo to Don Quixote than Salvador Cordova could.

This is going to be fun.

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,09:42   

Thanks Wes, I looked up his paper last night but your perspective will balance that out.  D's primary premise is unproven and maybe unprovable.  The question as to whether information is fundamental or just a construct of the human mind balances his whole house of cards.  I saw no evidence that this premise may be taken as fact.  Without that, CSI seems philosophy and not science.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,10:15   

Hi qetzal,

You asked...
 
Quote
If I eat that banana in my office tomorrow, my future hunger will have been satisfied by my past purchase of a banana. Would MikeGene consider that front loading?

My version of this is someone grabbing an umbrella when leaving in the morning because it might rain later in the day.

I think it is an example of retrocausality.  We have had discussions about this on Telic Thoughts.

I don't want to suggest what MikeGene thinks.  Personally, I think it goes straight to the point.  I think it is an example of life engaging in Front Loading.  It is such a trivial example that it is dismissed.

That was the general topic of the opening post.  Some things are so common that we take them for granted.

How are conscious decisions made?

Libet's experiments shows 500ms of electrical brain activity occurring prior to a conscious decision being made.  This has had a profound impact on the study of consciousness.  It has gotten to the point that a significant portion of the community is suggesting that the idea of conscious control is an illusion.  At best, we might sometimes get to veto our body's automatic responses.

But I digress.

I have suggested to MikeGene that the Front Loaded property of life he is looking for is that life's actions are directly coupled to interconnected quantum effects.

DNA evolved into a quantum computer, this makes for a significant link between the evolution of life and the interconnected quantum effects.

If it is established that microtubules are also quantum computers, consciousness becomes an artifact of interconnected quantum effects.

Whether or not it is microtubules, it is very likely that consciousness is directly interconnected with quantum effects because of observations like GHZ states.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,10:32   

Quote
....it is very likely that consciousness is in directing interconnected with quantum effects because of observations like GHZ states.


So what you are saying is if you think about GHZ states you will affect the thought *snicker*.

And is that wishful thinking?

Again how does LSD interact with that?

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,11:34   

Some musing on frontloading.

All of the info for the complicated future creatures would be compressed somewhere in the simpler ancestor? This origional life was seen to be "very simple", I believe. The two seem at odds.


Does frontloading have prior knowledge of future enviroments and pressures? If not then its looking more and more like NDE...

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
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"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,11:56   

Hi Richard,

Thank you for your comment.

You wrote...
 
Quote
This origional life was seen to be "very simple", I believe.

Are you familiar with Vernanimalcula guizhouena?

I posted a comment on a Telic Thoughts' thread about it (see Yet again…older than expected). Excuse me for this rather long copy, but it is interesting to me...

While it is arguable that these are "older than expected" verses just old, the Vernanimalcula guizhouena are a significant find.

Here is a link I found…

Animals - in the form of microscopic yet complex organisms - may have existed millions of years earlier than previous estimates, according to a new study published in the June 3 [2004] edition of Science Express.

The animal in question is called Vernanimalcula guizhouena, Latin for “small spring animal” - a nod by the discovery team to the “spring” following the so-called “Snowball Earth” time period that ended roughly 600 million years ago when it’s theorized that most of the planet was entombed in ice.

Vernanimalcula guizhouena - which was about the size of four human hairs laid side by side - is thought to have survived that period of extreme cold, Bottjer said.

“It was a little button-shaped organism that probably scooted along the sea floor,” he said. “It had a little mouth, sort of like a vacuum cleaner. It was tiny, but microbes are even smaller so it probably sucked them up so it could eat them.”

Aside from a mouth, Vernanimalcula guizhouena had an anus and paired external pits that the researchers theorized it used to sense environmental conditions, such as light.


Here is the Pharyngula link that has some nice pictures.

We now know these little critters had a hormonal signaling system.

How do we know this? From the link in the opening post…"It is likely that [two types of hormone-secreting nerve cells] existed already in Urbilateria, the last common ancestors of vertebrates, insects and worms"

The Vernanimalcula guizhouena descended from the Urbilateria.

I don't know about you guys, but this kind of complexity is older than I had expected. 50 million years prior to the Cambrian we have a critter with a pair of "external pits" that were sensitive to light (can you say "eyes"?) a digestive system and a hormonal system.

It looks like this little critter could SEE!

Do you think I exaggerate?

Also from the opening post link…

"Both of the cell types studied in Platynereis and fish are multifunctional: they secrete hormones and at the same time have sensory properties. The vasotocin-secreting cells contain a light-sensitive pigment, while RF-amide appears to be secreted in response to certain chemicals."

Hormones "…secreted in response to certain chemicals." Could it SMELL and TASTE too?

Since even single celled organisms have a sense of TOUCH, I think it is safe to say our little critter probably had that too.

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?

To the Intelligent Designer advocates. Other than an appeal to "mysterious ways", how did this all come about? How did God the Intelligent Designer implement the plan? Some ID proponents point to the Cambrian Explosion as something significant. To these proponents the complexity shown by the Vernanimalcula guizhouena may be "older than expected" for ID, not "Darwinists".

A hypothesis that suggests consciousness at a fundamental level of living organisms would expect organisms with interacting sub-systems earlier than simple evolutionary pressures would dictate.

I wonder how many microtubules were in a Vernanimalcula guizhouena.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,12:12   

Its a shame for all these early creatures. They're full of front loaded goodness for us and others but are very minimal / crap themselves.

THANK YOU FRONTLOADED CRAPPY CREATURES!

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,13:34   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 26 2007,12:12)
THANK YOU FRONTLOADED CRAPPY CREATURES!

Hilarious!

I wonder if Daniel can give us his interpretation of the data in this article, pointing out the evolutionary relationship of a bacterial protein (FtsZ) and tubulin.

Are bacteria conscious?  What are they thinking? Probably something like "I have all of these really cool genes. Why am I living in this pile of stinking crap?"

--------------
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
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,13:57   

Quote

Here is a link to a Dembski paper on the subject.


I thought it was an essay. Has it actually been published somewhere? If so, I'd appreciate the citation.

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

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,14:01   

As for links to Dembskiana, I have some more.

Dembski and critics link page. Up until things got crazy with writing and defending my dissertation in 2002, I was pretty active in keeping these pages updated with pretty much any online resource of note concerning Dembski... and criticisms of his ideas. It's a one-stop shop for stuff to that point in time.

Dembski dossier at AE

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

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,14:03   

The one thing missing from TP's reply seems to be the answer to my question,

Quote

When has anything been measured in CSI?


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

    
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,14:10   

Hi Wesley,

You asked...
Quote
I thought it was an essay. Has it actually been published somewhere?


Hey, I'm an engineer, not a scientist.  Whatever it is supposed to be called, it was something I digested and understood to be Dembski's opinion on a topic that is fundimental to ID.  It is also recent (Aug, 2005).

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,14:14   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 26 2007,14:03)
The one thing missing from TP's reply seems to be the answer to my question,

 
Quote

When has anything been measured in CSI?

TP there are several threads that attempt to get a real world example of the EF (and therefore a measure of CSI is required). If you have something to add I'm sure I can find the links and you can add to the discussion's.

--------------
I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,14:18   

Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Sep. 26 2007,14:14)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 26 2007,14:03)
The one thing missing from TP's reply seems to be the answer to my question,

 
Quote

When has anything been measured in CSI?

TP there are several threads that attempt to get a real world example of the EF (and therefore a measure of CSI is required). If you have something to add I'm sure I can find the links and you can add to the discussion's.

Sadly the one at "The Sci Phi Show" (which Sal ran away from) is dead. I think the whole message board went down.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,14:27   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 26 2007,14:18)
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Sep. 26 2007,14:14)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 26 2007,14:03)
The one thing missing from TP's reply seems to be the answer to my question,

   
Quote

When has anything been measured in CSI?

TP there are several threads that attempt to get a real world example of the EF (and therefore a measure of CSI is required). If you have something to add I'm sure I can find the links and you can add to the discussion's.

Sadly the one at "The Sci Phi Show" (which Sal ran away from) is dead. I think the whole message board went down.

Oh? I keep meaning to go back but somehow never bothered.

What always made me laugh was when I went to the website it would take 5-10 seconds to "start up" and then it was fine. Obviously the hard drive was going to sleep and only waking up when there was a visitor.

Not many visitors :)

I think the active ID loons that are linked to UD are down to a dozen or two now.

I guess there are millions of random loons like the bloke I just created the thread for to try and entice in. The guy's a science teacher ffs, and that's what got me (FTK, take note). I mean, my science teachers were great in years gone by and the comparison from them to this bloke - well, he's down there in the FTK zone.

It's a shame these sort of people get to call themselves teachers.

--------------
I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,14:30   

Old man, the big 1k is coming up for you, Celebrate with a special post, a virgin sacrifice (CarslonJok) and by paying homage to me.


Mwuahaha.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,14:53   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 26 2007,14:30)
Old man, the big 1k is coming up for you, Celebrate with a special post, a virgin sacrifice (CarslonJok) and by paying homage to me.

How dare you suggest that I do not engage in carnal relations with members of the opposite gender.

Why, I will have you know that today is my 15th wedding anniversary and it was just last.......... .......um...........err.........not that long ago....... hmmm.........

Oh, never mind.  :(

--------------
It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,15:01   



I'M SUPRISED SHE LETS THAT MIDGIT RIDE YOU.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
carlsonjok



Posts: 3324
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,15:10   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 26 2007,15:01)
I'M SUPRISED SHE LETS THAT MIDGIT RIDE YOU.

I am on a pretty short lead since she found a picture of me hanging out with one of Lou FCD's friends.



--------------
It's natural to be curious about our world, but the scientific method is just one theory about how to best understand it.  We live in a democracy, which means we should treat every theory equally. - Steven Colbert, I Am America (and So Can You!)

  
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,15:19   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Sep. 26 2007,14:30)
Old man, the big 1k is coming up for you, Celebrate with a special post, a virgin sacrifice (CarslonJok) and by paying homage to me.


Mwuahaha.

I know! It's amazing. Hardly looked at the counter for a while.

I registered here originally because I just had to say something to AFDave.

And that was some time ago :)

--------------
I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,15:22   

Hi All,

To the question...
When has anything been measured in CSI?

Dembski provided a partial analysis of a "bidirectional rotary motor-driven propeller" in the essay I linked.

See page 25.

However, that isn't material to what I was saying.  The point is that according to the Dembski's definitions what I have proposed is a "design" in the sense meant for purposes of considering it an ID hypothesis.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,15:33   

Quote

Hey, I'm an engineer, not a scientist.  Whatever it is supposed to be called, it was something I digested and understood to be Dembski's opinion on a topic that is fundimental to ID.  It is also recent (Aug, 2005).


If it is so fundamental to ID, how come at the Kitzmiller trial Dembski was able to drop out of being an expert witness, and the defense didn't bother to make a big issue of Dembski's ideas?

Dembski has been discussing specification since 1996. I was there for his February 1997 presentation, and was able to introduce him to the idea of evolutionary computation by genetic algorithms, a topic that has consumed quite a bit of his attention since then. I reviewed his book, "The Design Inference", in 1999. I've been on stage with Dembski at events in 2001, 2002, and 2006. Yeah, Dembski has an opinion, but there is a body of criticism that goes with those ideas, of which I have contributed a portion.

So when I ask, yet again, what is it that has been measured in CSI, it's not an idle inquiry.

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

    
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,15:36   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 26 2007,15:22)
Hi All,

To the question...
When has anything been measured in CSI?

Dembski provided a partial analysis of a "bidirectional rotary motor-driven propeller" in the essay I linked.

See page 25.

However, that isn't material to what I was saying.  The point is that according to the Dembski's definitions what I have proposed is a "design" in the sense meant for purposes of considering it an ID hypothesis.

Just wondering, without a proper analysis of CSI how can the Explanatory filter have been applied?

ID makes a big deal out of CSI "bits" and universal probability bounds. Isn't it all talk unless somebody does the math?

For example, here Salvador Cordova gives an example of CSI as follows

Quote
Say we have 100 sentences to compare in a passage, and the sentences were 100 characters on average in length.   What would be the rough probabliy that two authors could independently arrive at the same 100-sentence passage based on the parameters suggested by Chomsky?    10^25^100?

basic CSI with respect to the plagerism design is roughly

log2(10^25^100)   bits  


Does that make any sense to you? Usable?

Richard, the forum is still there btw
Link

--------------
I also mentioned that He'd have to give me a thorough explanation as to *why* I must "eat human babies".
FTK

if there are even critical flaws in Gauger’s work, the evo mat narrative cannot stand
Gordon Mullings

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,15:40   

Quote

Dembski provided a partial analysis of a "bidirectional rotary motor-driven propeller" in the essay I linked.


Yeah, I already know of E. coli flagellum "calculation"; it seems to be Dembski's perenially unfinished masterpiece.

Again, what is it that has been measured in CSI?

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

    
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,16:01   

Hi Wesley,

I am somewhat aware of your background.

I applaud your fight against the ID Movement.

As I stated earlier in the thread, I found out about Intelligent Design through the Dover trial. I think Judge Jones' opinion was inevitable based on the material presented to him.

However, not everyone who thinks of themselves as an ID proponent agrees with the definition found on page 99 of the book that was the focus of the Dover trial.

For example, I think it is safe to say that MikeGene does not.  Furthermore, I’m sure MikeGene didn’t agree with the definition before the Dover trial and actually fought against ID being taught in schools.

I consider MikeGene to be an earnest ID Scientist even though he feels that ID isn’t yet qualified to be called “science.”

While I think MikeGene would be better off ditching the baggage associated with ID, that is his choice. The ID movement doesn’t deserve him.

There is a lot MikeGene and I disagree about, but embracing Gould’s NOMA means that our philosophical differences can be set aside as long as we focus on the science.

What I have been presenting here is what I call the Third Choice.  A choice other than the status quo and an unidentified Intelligent Designer.

Many ID proponents claim ID isn’t about God.  I am giving them the opportunity to stand by their words.  Here is an ID hypothesis with scientific justification.  The reactions to it are informative.

I am helping ID Science.  I am a vocal critic of the ID Movement.

  
JAM



Posts: 517
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,16:11   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 26 2007,15:22)
The point is that according to the Dembski's definitions what I have proposed is a "design" in the sense meant for purposes of considering it an ID hypothesis.

Also, according to his definition of "intelligence," natural selection is intelligent.

  
JAM



Posts: 517
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,16:16   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 26 2007,16:01)
I consider MikeGene to be an earnest ID Scientist even though he feels that ID isn’t yet qualified to be called “science.”

Baloney.

"Mike Gene" is scared to death of doing anything that remotely resembles the testing of a hypothesis, probably because it might ruin his book sales.

Earnest scientists set out to find the most stringent tests of their hypotheses, and then do them. If their hypotheses are wrong, new data are still generated.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,16:22   

Hi OldMan and Wesley,

You can find a conversation that I had with Salvador Cordova about this essay here

Don't get too excited.  Salvador ended up retreating to his YEC stance.  Salvador gets himself in trouble because he actually tries to do the math and tries to build models.  He is an engineer.  He can't help himself.

In that respect I think more highly of him than I do Dembski.

BTW, I know Salvador quotemines horribly and, otherwise, does whatever it takes to promote ID.  So don't bother with retelling me this.

I am suggesting that, sometimes, he at least tries.

And no, I don’t know of any other examples of CSI being applied.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,17:09   

Given that we don't have an example of measurement, isn't it somewhat premature to say,

Quote

The lord of all things ID provides the measuring stick called CSI.


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

    
steve_h



Posts: 533
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,18:14   

Quote
Dembski provided a partial analysis of a "bidirectional rotary motor-driven propeller" in the essay I linked.
I think Dembski's calculations could be improved.  He assumes a 10^5 probability of each of the above concepts "bidirectional", "rotary", "motor driven" and "propeller". However if you take the "propeller" part as a given, how many choices are available for the other words?  

Rotary?   Ok I guess it could be "linear" or "random" instead.
"Motor Driven" could be "elastic band driven", I guess.
"Bidirectional" could have been "unidirectional", or "non-directional"

To compensate, I would add "super-dooper", "microscopic", "biological", "international standards based" -- and maybe do away with the analysis of English language concepts altogether as the basis of the calculations,  and consider  instead potential chemical and biological precursors.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,18:37   

Hi SteveStory,

Assuming you are listening,  I hope you found this outline of an ID hypothesis a little more substantial than your usual "cotton candy".

However, it looks like things are reverting back to rehashing the Group Think approved talking points.

I had hoped to get a chance to talk about the Vernanimalcula guizhouena since Richardthughes brought up the subject of the complexity of early life.  It doesn't look like that is happening.

If anyone has any questions in the future, they can get a hold of me via my blog http://dfcord.blogspot.com/

My comments are open to anyone.

Alternatively, I am a frequent contributer at www.TelicThoughts.com.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,21:29   

Quote

However, it looks like things are reverting back to rehashing the Group Think approved talking points.


What does one say to that sort of sign-off?

For myself, I think, "Good-bye," will be sufficient.

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

    
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,22:19   

You are right, that was rude of me.

To those who showed an interest and asked earnest questions...

thank you.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 26 2007,23:30   

You're welcome. I have to admit, I didn't always follow your thinking but I got a wee bit of fun from it.

--------------
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

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,00:18   

gone so soon, what a letdown.

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,00:22   

Jesting aside, I wish he'd addressed my concerns with "Front Loading".

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,07:12   

Quote
Jesting aside, I wish he'd addressed my concerns with "Front Loading".

Jesting aside, I wish you had too.

Do you want to talk about Vernanimalcula guizhouena now?

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,08:58   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 27 2007,07:12)
Quote
Jesting aside, I wish he'd addressed my concerns with "Front Loading".

Jesting aside, I wish you had too.

Do you want to talk about Vernanimalcula guizhouena now?

It sounds very advanced for a "young" organism, but I don't think it's evidence for front loading, Nor do I have the right knowledge and perhaps intellect to discuss it in detail with you. Sorry  :(

I can talk big picture, though.

Here are some thoughts:

one front-loaded ancestor, or many?
If many, what where the time(s) of introduction?
Was the designer aware of how future environments would  develop (so he could front load them specifically) or is it closer to NDE?
 > This is important if you think of the interplay of the various species through time and environments,
Genetically, what would a front-loaded ancestor look like vs. current life?

I hope you find these Thought Provoking!

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,11:22   

Quote
It sounds very advanced for a "young" organism, but I don't think it's evidence for front loading, Nor do I have the right knowledge and perhaps intellect to discuss it in detail with you. Sorry  :(

I can talk big picture, though.

Are you sure?

I am just an engineer with very little biological science training, but I can learn.  I learn by listening to people who explain things rather than telling me how and what to think.

I provided a link to PZ Myer's pharyngula for a reason.  He explains why finding Vernanimalcula guizhouena was important.  It wasn't just "a" young organism that happened to be complex.  From the pharyngula link...

The important point is that this animal possesses the rudiments of morphological characters that are going to erupt into a wide range of diverse specializations in the Cambrian, and it has them roughly 50 million years before the Cambrian 'explosion'. The phyletic innovations we have first seen so clearly in the Cambrian did not come out of nowhere, but have a solid evolutionary foundation in simpler animals.

Chen et al.'s summary of their paper:

"The morphology  of Vernanimalcula demonstrates that the evolutionary appearance of developmental programs required to generate a multilayered bilaterian body plan preceded the entrainment of the growth programs required for macroscopic body size. Furthermore, the organization of these fossils, taken together with their provenance, indicates that the genetic toolkit and pattern formation mechanisms required for bilaterian development had already evolved by Doushantuo times, long before the Cambrian. Therefore, the diversification of body plans in the Early Cambrian followed from the varied deployment of these mechanisms once conditions permitted, not from their sudden appearance at or just before the Cambrian boundary."


This sounds a lot like MikeGene talking about evidence for front loaded evolution.  Which is why I included the Telic Thoughts link where he included this about the complexity of early organisms...

In this week's issue of the journal Cell they report that hormone-secreting brain centres are much older than expected and likely evolved from multifunctional cells of the last common ancestor of vertebrates, flies and worms.

and this...

"These findings revolutionise the way we see the brain," says Tessmar-Raible. "So far we have always understood it as a processing unit, a bit like a computer that integrates and interprets incoming sensory information. Now we know that the brain is itself a sensory organ and has been so since very ancient times."

By the way I understand the last common ancestor of vertebrates, flies and worms is called Urbilateria which was the predesesor to Vernanimalcula guizhouena. However, I am just an engineer, what do I know?

Earlier, you wrote...
       
Quote
All of the info for the complicated future creatures would be compressed somewhere in the simpler ancestor? This origional life was seen to be "very simple", I believe.

Therefore, I thought you would be interested in discussing early life forms like the Vernanimalcula guizhouena.

As to your questions...  
Quote
one front-loaded ancestor, or many?
If many, what where the time(s) of introduction?
Was the designer aware of how future environments would  develop (so he could front load them specifically) or is it closer to NDE?
> This is important if you think of the interplay of the various species through time and environments,
Genetically, what would a front-loaded ancestor look like vs. current life?

First of all, I can only speak to the hypothesis I am proposing and not to the strawman stereotype you wish to hack up.

There is no presumption of "the designer" in the hypothesis I have presented.  There is a presumption of a universal wavefunction that is timeless because time is just another dimension in space/time geometry.

I don't know how the universe came to be, do you?

I tend to believe in Common Descent in the sense mainstream biologists refer to it.

Interconnected quantum effects are holistic from a time point of view.  Therefore, asking about "time(s) of introduction" makes no sense.

Whether this is closer to NDE or ID depends on definitions.  If you ask a typical ID proponent, NDE is totally based on randomness.  If there is no such thing as randomness then NDE falls.  I tend to be more neutral, that is why I call it the Third Choice.  Presumes neither NDE, nor an Intelligent Designer.  It wouldn't bother me to have both sides claim it.

As to what a front-loaded ancestor might look like.  It might look like a Vernanimalcula guizhouena.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,11:31   

Paging Dr Pangloss, paging Dr Pangloss.

posterior predictions are always 100%.

--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,11:31   

I'll elaborate a bit on that, Rich. The problem with frontloading is basically that evolution happens, and nothing (known) can really stop it from happening. Given this, the very idea invites an infinite regress, which is a really good sign that the idea is "not even wrong."

Here's why:
If you posit some frontloaded genetic material that does the organism no good in the present, but is being conserved somehow for future function, then you need some kind of regulatory structure or some as-yet unimagined mechanism for preserving these frontloaded sequences against mutation and selection.

But your conservation mechanism does the organism no good in the present either, because the sequences it's conserving don't. So you need some kind of regulatory structure or some as-yet unimagined mechanism for preserving the sequences that preserve the frontloaded sequences.
But your conservation mechanism does the organism no good in the present either, because the sequences it's conserving don't. So you need some kind of regulatory structure or some as-yet unimagined mechanism for preserving the sequences that preserve the frontloaded sequences.
But your conservation mechanism does the organism no good in the present either, because the sequences it's conserving don't. So you need some kind of regulatory structure or some as-yet unimagined mechanism for preserving the sequences that preserve the frontloaded sequences.
But your conservation mechanism does the organism no good in the present either, because the sequences it's conserving don't. So you need some kind of regulatory structure or some as-yet unimagined mechanism for preserving the sequences that preserve the frontloaded sequences...

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

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,11:34   

So, when we see that 'time since introduction' is one of the most potent predictors of the spread of an introduced species, we are not really saying anything since the universal wave function of quantum effects make time nonsensical?  

I find your ideas fascinating and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.  

Woo Woo!!!  Woo Woooooooooooo!!!



--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,11:48   

To C.J.O'Brien - Interesting elaboration.  Something to think about.

To Erasmus, FCD - Sarcasm is the protest of people who are weak (credit John Knowles)

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,11:52   

Quote
> This is important if you think of the interplay of the various species through time and environments,


Not if you think that there is something very small and undetectable that keeps a map of life, the universe and everything in its back pocket and when no one is looking concocts T-Rex.

It's a quantum god of the gaps unless you are an atheist in which case it’s still a god.

And TP is not an atheist even if he says so.

For some existential reason there are a great number of people who find the idea that life has evolved extremely unsatisfying.

We've seen it time and again where there is a perception that even if Le Fromage Grand in the sky used some sort of Genetic Algorithm to create US then US must have been his purpose, otherwise why bother?

That leaves the nagging question how can we recognize evidence for 'purpose' not just in US but in all life since everything evolved and therefore everything has a 'purpose'.

No purpose therefore existential dilemma, IOW why am I here? In fact what is I.

Mythology in the past provided strong answers for the group as to the correct conditions, and conditioning, for the ego.

For example one of the creation tales in the Mahabharata starts with.

The I (the ego) woke up and discovered it was all alone and it was scared, so it created Brahma (god). Then Brahma created the heavens and all the worlds as his dream.

The question ‘what is the purpose of life’ is of course ridiculous.

If one needs to project a personal doubt back through a chain of chemical ancestors to the year dot, science is not the answer. 40 days in the wilderness however has proved successful in the past, try it.

City kids piss me off sometimes, some of them have no concept of what living breathing life actually is sometimes and sorry RTH the warm blooded ones are edible.

TP UR SPEXIAL KO?

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,12:05   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 27 2007,19:48)
To C.J.O'Brien - Interesting elaboration.  Something to think about.

To Erasmus, FCD - Sarcasm is the protest of people who are weak (credit John Knowles)

oh boo hoo hoody hoo

Stuffed shirt

From someone who has spent their whole child and adult life not even considering infinite regression.

The quote is normally credited to Shakespeare

"If wit is a play on words then sarcasm is the lowest form of wit"

I however, am agnostic about Shakespeare’s wit and would like to PERSONALLY GIVE ERASMUS FCD A HIGH FIVE !!!!!

Sarcasm according to science is a reflection of intelligence

Highest Brain Functions Handle Lowest Form of Wit (Intelligence Means Sarcasm)

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,12:09   

To put that in context, the bard wrote:

"If wit is a play on words then sarcasm is the lowest form of wit"

After Sir Richard LeTarde mocked him;

"YOU are going to be a writer, Mr. spells his name consistently? I'm sure you will be suuuuuupeeeer"

Folks only roll out "... sarcasm is the lowest form of wit" after being cut down by sarcasm, which is one of the higher forms of wit.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,12:10   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 27 2007,11:48)
To C.J.O'Brien - Interesting elaboration.  Something to think about.

To Erasmus, FCD - Sarcasm is the protest of people who are weak (credit John Knowles)

TP,

Using the "sarcasm is a tool of the weak" bit is a sign of a weak argument.
(credit BWE)

Please do expand on the frontloading issue. I too am curious. Is this an argument for special creation?

--------------
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: Sep. 27 2007,12:35   

Hi all,

I was aware of the quote from Shakespeare.  My choice was intentional.  Knowles was making a dispassionate observation.  "Weak" verses "weak minded". Seeking the sanctuary of Group Think is also a sign of weakness.

I was letting you know that actions like these isn't provoking anger.  Disgust and pity, maybe, but not anger.

I am not interested in attempting to trade insults.  I concede most of you appear to be much more experienced at that than I.

If you don't wish to have a discussion with me, all you have to do is ask me to leave.  Or better yet, don't participate in this thread.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,12:39   

Hi K.E.,

You wrote...
Quote
It's a quantum god of the gaps unless you are an atheist in which case it’s still a god.

And TP is not an atheist even if he says so.


I agree I am not an atheist since I won't say there is no god.   Of course, Richard Dawkins also concedes there might be a God.

Most people think Richard Dawkins is an atheist.  A lot of religious people think I am an atheist.

Labels aren't important, ideas are.

P.S. I like your signature line about conservatives.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,12:50   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 27 2007,12:39)
Hi K.E.,

You wrote...
 
Quote
It's a quantum god of the gaps unless you are an atheist in which case it’s still a god.

And TP is not an atheist even if he says so.


I agree I am not an atheist since I won't say there is no god.   Of course, Richard Dawkins also concedes there might be a God.

Most people think Richard Dawkins is an atheist.  A lot of religious people think I am an atheist.

Labels aren't important, ideas are.

P.S. I like your signature line about conservatives.

You can be atheist agnostic.
Atheism is a position of faith, like theism. In many ways it has to be, as you can't prove a negative.

Agnosticism answer the epistemological question, honestly.

Believing isn't KNOWING.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,12:54   

But I want to know! Tell me about front loading. Forget group  think and just spell out your argument.

It looks like a kind of vain attempt to put a place for some special God back into the schematic. Maybe it's just me...

--------------
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: Sep. 27 2007,13:16   

Hi BWE,

   
Quote
Is this an argument for special creation?

I doubt my Third Choice hypothesis is.

Think of lightening.  For lightening to be "created" it needs positive and negative potentials.  Is lightening pushed or pulled or both?

I suggest, like lightening, evolution might result from being both pushed and pulled.

NDE describes the pushing part.  Front loading would be the pulling part.

And, while more important for philosophical discussion, the other similarity to lightening is that the circuit must be complete.  There must be a path from the beginning to the end of time, otherwise it doesn't happen.

P.S. sorry for the delay, but sometimes I have to do real work.   ???

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,13:29   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 26 2007,16:01)
What I have been presenting here is what I call the Third Choice.  A choice other than the status quo and an unidentified Intelligent Designer.

Many ID proponents claim ID isn’t about God.  I am giving them the opportunity to stand by their words.  Here is an ID hypothesis with scientific justification.  The reactions to it are informative.

Once again, I disagree that you've provided any scientific justification. To me (and to most working scientists, I suspect), scientific justification means some reasonable level of empirical data that supports the hypothesis. I don't think you've provided that at all.

Instead, you've taken some observations about QM, made a series of assumptions, and shown that life is inevitable ("retrocaused") under those assumptions. The problem with that is one can show virtually anything with the right set of assumptions. I don't consider it scientific justification unless there's some evidence to support the assumptions.

Now, maybe I still don't grasp what your Third Choice really says. So let me try to boil it down, and you can tell me if I've got the gist.

1.  Particles can be quantum entangled. This is demonstrated.
2.  Based on (1), you propose that the universe is interconnected across all of space and time due to quantum effects.
3.  For reasons that aren't clear to me, you further propose that living things (perhaps specifically intelligent living things) are required for the universe to exist.
4.  Thus, life developed because it had to. The requirement for (intelligent?) life at some point in space-time 'retrocaused' life to begin developing at some other point(s) in space-time.

Is that approximately right? If not, feel free to correct my errors. If so, isn't this essentially just the Strong Anthropic principle?

Regardless of the above, I don't consider your ideas to be equivalent to front loading. Here's why.

In 'traditional' front loading, all of the 'information' needed to generate every possible future organism was loaded into the first organism. Proponents generally argue that it was all encoded into the DNA, but most of it was repressed. The key point is that it was all inherent in that first organism.

You're arguing (I think) that the information needed to generate every possible organism was loaded not into the first organism, but into the universe itself. That's fundamentally distinct. You may choose to call that front loading, but it's not compatible with front loading as it's commonly understood.

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,14:56   

qetzal if that is true it further entails that either consciousness is not a property of organisms or that it is a property of matter.

Woo-woo-woo-woo!!!



--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,15:01   

Just read upthread, don't be mad TP k?

We all take the piss.  Woo-wear is just something that is easy to piss on.  I will never say that it's wrong.  It's not even wrong.  I mean, have you ever really looked at your hand?  



--------------
You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,15:04   

Hi qetzal,

I will readily admit that the Third Choice is repackaged Anthropic principle.  As to whether it is weak or strong isn't as clear.

Skeptic was right to indicate I am violating NOMA in suggesting a purpose, even if it is extremely modest.  I am not suggesting human life is key to the universe's existance.  For that matter, Earth, and all the life on it, many be a meaningless side effect of the universe being consistent with itself.

Maybe it would help if I bring up Dawkin's..."Life results from the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators."

What happens to this if there is no such thing as randomness?

Life results from the non-random survival of replicators that vary based on interconnected quantum effects that may, or may not, be needed for consistency in the universe.

Science makes the presumption that the universe is consistent.  It is a small step over the NOMA divide to say the universe MUST be consistent (i.e. is its purpose).  Note, saying the universe has no purpose violates NOMA just as much as saying it does.

With that, let me try to focus on the scientific arguments.

Hypothesis - Quantum effects are interconnected in both space and time.

Implication - All quantum effects are fixed.  There is no such thing as randomness, just the illusion of randomness in a highly complex situation.

Hypothesis – Evolution has resulted in life on Earth taking advantage of quantum computing (e.g. DNA and photosynthesis).

Implication – “Random” mutations are influenced by quantum effects interconnected to future quantum effects.

Hypothesis – The appearance of life’s awareness (i.e. consciousness) is a direct artifact of life’s use of quantum effects.

Implication - Microtubules are probably the primary mechanism for consciousness.

I will say more in a follow up comment.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,15:39   

Hi qetzal,

You wrote...
 
Quote
Regardless of the above, I don't consider your ideas to be equivalent to front loading. Here's why.

In 'traditional' front loading, all of the 'information' needed to generate every possible future organism was loaded into the first organism. Proponents generally argue that it was all encoded into the DNA, but most of it was repressed. The key point is that it was all inherent in that first organism.

You're arguing (I think) that the information needed to generate every possible organism was loaded not into the first organism, but into the universe itself. That's fundamentally distinct. You may choose to call that front loading, but it's not compatible with front loading as it's commonly understood.


I understand that MikeGene and Krauze of Telic Thoughts are credited for pushing the Front Loading meme for a long time.  I can't speak for them, but I have noticed they have rejected similar characterizations of "traditional front loading" in past comments.

MikeGene has suggested that the recA gene might be a front-loaded evolution gene.  Here is a link to a paper (essay?) MikeGene wrote in the subject (it was the one MikeGene offered when SteveStory came by on his visit to Telic Thoughts)...

RecA is truly a remarkable protein. Even though it is only about 350 amino acids in length, it carries out the multiple functions of binding multiple DNA strands, coordinating their exchange, binding ATP and hydrolyzing it, and interacting with other proteins. In fact, according to one review, the functional domains responsible for these activities closely map together and may even overlap. How is all this carried out?

I’ve left out one very important part of the story – RecA is not functional as a monomer, it only becomes functional when it forms protein fibers that wrap around the DNA.

In other words, recombination occurs because tubulin-like proteins stretch the DNA by forming a dynamically lengthening tube around it. In this way, the growing protein tube can hold onto the single stranded DNA with one “hand” while using its other “hands” to unravel double stranded DNA such that the single-stranded DNA can be used to probe the unraveled DNA for regions that are complementary.

You might have noticed I said “tubulin-like.” Is this simply because RecA forms a semi-hollow protein tube? No. There are several other features that have led one reviewer, for example, to note:

The dynamic behavior protein under conditions of ATP hydrolysis is thus conceptually similar to that of other NTP-hydrolyzing, self-assembling proteins, such as actin and tubulin.

Like tubulin, RecA formation starts slowing with a nucleation step, where a small number of monomers must form a seed that can then be extended. Once formed, like tubulin, RecA then grows at one end by the incorporation of RecA monomers bound to ATP (tubulin dimers add to one end and must be bound to GTP). Like tubulin, the NTP hydrolysis is not needed for assembly, but instead is needed for disassembly. This means that RecA, like tubulin, assembles at one end and disassembles at the other end, forming something like a treadmill. According to one team of researchers:

We argue that RecA can “proofread” the ssDNA by its own binding fluctuations. These fluctuations are similar to microtubule dynamic instability. The assembly dynamics constitute a kinetic proofreading cascade that is a “hair-trigger” sensor of DNA length. Enhancing biomolecular precision by fluctuations, which may seem somewhat counter-intuitive in a deterministic world, is presented as a natural design principle in the noisy realm of the living cell.

A microtubule-like structure is thus in charge of genetic recombination.

Finally, if RecA is an evolution gene, this would lead to an obvious prediction - removal of RecA should compromise an organism’s ability to evolve.


Could the RecA protein be another example of life taking advantage of the power of quantum computing for a key function?  I haven't found the time or resources to explore that, but MikeGene went out of his way to point out how his and my hypotheses were mutually supportive.

Whether or not the Third Choice is considered part of the rubric called "Front Loading" isn't up to you or me.  It is up to those proposing the Front Loading hypothesis.

Labels aren't important, ideas are.

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,16:22   

Quote
Could the RecA protein be another example of life taking advantage of the power of quantum computing for a key function?

Maybe entanglement, but I doubt that it's an actual quantum computer because, again, decoherence at room temperatures will be a problem. For a quantum computer to be truly effective, it must entangle many lines and keep them coherent with a strong perturbation long enough to perform quantum operations (phase flips, rotations like the Hadamard, controlled NOTs, the Quantum Fourier Transform). The photosynthesis article you provided before talked about timing on the level of tenths of pico-seconds and temperatures of 77K (-223 C for those of you at home). This is well below an acceptable level for claiming that the proteins would be able to exhibit the same behavior. It also used a much simpler quantum process of entangling energy eigenstates, not performing true computation.

 
Quote
Labels aren't important, ideas are.

Except when you use labels incorrectly, such as "quantum computer".

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,16:33   

Hi Erasmus, FCD,

You wrote...
 
Quote
if that is true it further entails that either consciousness is not a property of organisms or that it is a property of matter

This approached a decent argument.

If Dr Hameroff is right, the conscious perception of time is based on the rate of conscious events.  Human have about 40 conscious events a second.  A potato (which has microtubules) would have about one a month.

The quantum effects in general matter isn’t organized to fire (massive decoherence) concurrently like living matter with microtubules are.  But suppose, for argument sake it is.  What is a rock with one conscious event a year going to do about it?

P.S. on the extreme chance you are interested in this, you may want to look up Endogenous Adaptive Mutagenesis.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,16:39   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 27 2007,15:39)
I understand that MikeGene and Krauze of Telic Thoughts are credited for pushing the Front Loading meme for a long time.  I can't speak for them, but I have noticed they have rejected similar characterizations of "traditional front loading" in past comments.

Whether or not the Third Choice is considered part of the rubric called "Front Loading" isn't up to you or me.  It is up to those proposing the Front Loading hypothesis.

Labels aren't important, ideas are.


Well, this is what MikeGene posted on 9/24/07:

Quote
For years, I have been trying to flesh out the conceptualization of front-loading evolution at the origin of life. A working hypothesis has been that the first cells (uni-cellular life forms) were front-loaded with information that would facilitate the evolution of multi-cellular life.


link

Isn't that pretty much what I said?

In contrast, your version doesn't postulate front loading of information into the first cells per se. It postulates that the information is part of the overall wavefunction of the universe, right?

I agree that concepts are what matter, but when the same label is used to refer to two different concepts, confusion is inevitable.

Regarding RecA, you're in my sweet spot now! I agree it's an amazing protein. But being multifunctional and forming nucleoprotein filaments is not evidence that it's front-loaded. Not unless you're going to claim that it's "too complex to have evolved naturally."

Whether recA is an "evolution gene" depends on what that means. It's a central player in a lot of DNA repair and recombination processes. Where there's repair/recombination, there's mutation. Where there's mutation, there's potential evolution. If that's all that's required to meet MikeGene's idea of an "evolution gene" then recA fits the bill.

On the other hand, if MikeGene thinks RecA somehow directs evolution in a teleological way, he's wrong.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,16:42   

TP

I forgot to add - even though I think your ideas are mostly BS, props for getting RecA protein versus recA gene right!

;-)

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,16:52   

Hi Creek Belly,

It would have been nice of you to provide the link and quote it in context.  But this isn't about being nice is it?

Here it is in context...

Engel said one of the next steps for the Fleming group in this line of research will be to look at the effects of temperature changes on the photosynthetic energy transfer process. The results for this latest paper in Nature were obtained from FMO complexes kept at 77 Kelvin. The group will also be looking at broader bandwidths of energy using different colors of light pulses to map out everything that is going on, not just energy transfer. Ultimately, the idea is to gain a much better understanding how Nature not only transfers energy from one molecular system to another, but is also able to convert it into useful forms.

“Nature has had about 2.7 billion years to perfect photosynthesis, so there are huge lessons that remain for us to learn,” Engel said. “The results we’re reporting in this latest paper, however, at least give us a new way to think about the design of future artificial photosynthesis systems.”


It also would have been nice to think about what they were saying.  This isn't the first time nature has managed to do something that proves difficult to replicate artificially.  Are you suggesting plants operate at 77 Kelvin?

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,17:22   

Hi qetzal,

Thank you for your comment and thank you for providing the link.  As you pointed out, MikeGene said...

"A working hypothesis has been that the first cells (uni-cellular life forms) were front-loaded with information that would facilitate the evolution of multi-cellular life." (emphasis mine)

I have noticed MikeGene is pretty careful with his words.  The word "facilitate" makes a big difference IMO.  Life's use of quantum mechanics facilitates the evolution of multi-cellular life.

Quote
In contrast, your version doesn't postulate front loading of information into the first cells per se. It postulates that the information is part of the overall wavefunction of the universe, right?

I agree that concepts are what matter, but when the same label is used to refer to two different concepts, confusion is inevitable.


MikeGene is more careful with his words than I.  If I said the Third Choice is a Front Loading hypothesis then I was mistaken.  I have asked, MikeGene has not said one way or the other.  I have my opinion, but it is only my opinion.

BTW, I am of the opinion that this is an ID Hypothesis based on the lose definitions used, but I could be wrong about that.

Quote
Regarding RecA, you're in my sweet spot now! I agree it's an amazing protein. But being multifunctional and forming nucleoprotein filaments is not evidence that it's front-loaded. Not unless you're going to claim that it's "too complex to have evolved naturally."

Whether recA is an "evolution gene" depends on what that means. It's a central player in a lot of DNA repair and recombination processes. Where there's repair/recombination, there's mutation. Where there's mutation, there's potential evolution. If that's all that's required to meet MikeGene's idea of an "evolution gene" then recA fits the bill.


I'm glad to hear from a knowledgable source.

You can read MikeGene's paper for itself.  I won't speak for MikeGene.

I look at the recA gene and, especially, the RecA protein as being in the unique position of having great influence over the evolution process in what MikeGene referred to as "deep time".  Pencils balanced on their tips could fall in any direction. I gentile breeze might not make a difference that is immeadiately noticable.  But if there are a lot of pencils over a lot of time, the pencils might be biased to tip a certain way.

I understand the RecA protein acts very much like a microtubule (I am counting on your expertise to argue this point if applicable).  That is a rather convienent coincidence.

I am not suggesting some human-like intelligence designed it that way.  Think of it as some unknown evolutionary advantage to having a quantum computer in charge of this highly important function.

And thanks for noticing the recA gene and RecA protein.  I feel my efforts weren’t wasted.

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,17:24   

Quote
This isn't the first time nature has managed to do something that proves difficult to replicate artificially.

Quite. Evolutionary algorithms are a good example of this (especially the "Macguyver solutions").

Quote
Are you suggesting plants operate at 77 Kelvin?

No, I'm suggesting that some of the ease of observing quantum effects were from keeping the plants cold (average energy state is lower, allows for longer coherence time), even then they were relegated to coherences of femto-seconds. The fact that plants operate at a higher average temperatures makes it difficult to determine how prevalent this quantum effect is when the temperature is closer to 290-300K (I believe the group is working towards this). In addition, it's a pretty basic quantum effect, in the sense that energy levels constitute well defined quantum state, with incident photons accounting for the measurement process. This is quite another thing from performing complex quantum operations; there's just not much from the data that suggests this is being done.

And just to be fair and balanced: "By demonstrating that the energy transfer process does involve electronic coherence and that this coherence is much stronger than we would ever have expected, we have shown that the process can be much more efficient than the classical view could explain. However, we still don’t know to what degree photosynthesis benefits from these quantum effects." from the link.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,18:40   

TP,

Thanks for the reply (and the previous ones). It's nice to discuss this with someone who responds to the questions that are asked, even if we may disagree on the answers.

 
Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 27 2007,17:22)
Hi qetzal,

Thank you for your comment and thank you for providing the link.  As you pointed out, MikeGene said...

"A working hypothesis has been that the first cells (uni-cellular life forms) were front-loaded with information that would facilitate the evolution of multi-cellular life." (emphasis mine)

I have noticed MikeGene is pretty careful with his words.  The word "facilitate" makes a big difference IMO.  Life's use of quantum mechanics facilitates the evolution of multi-cellular life.


Maybe, but in distinguishing MikeGene's (et al.) version from yours, I'd place the emphasis here: "A working hypothesis has been that the first cells (uni-cellular life forms) were front-loaded...."

 
Quote
MikeGene is more careful with his words than I.  If I said the Third Choice is a Front Loading hypothesis then I was mistaken.  I have asked, MikeGene has not said one way or the other.  I have my opinion, but it is only my opinion.

BTW, I am of the opinion that this is an ID Hypothesis based on the lose definitions used, but I could be wrong about that.


Fair enough.

 
Quote
I'm glad to hear from a knowledgable source.

You can read MikeGene's paper for itself.  I won't speak for MikeGene.


I'll try to look over his post(s) tonight. Can't promise though.

 
Quote
I look at the recA gene and, especially, the RecA protein as being in the unique position of having great influence over the evolution process in what MikeGene referred to as "deep time".  Pencils balanced on their tips could fall in any direction. I gentile breeze might not make a difference that is immeadiately noticable.  But if there are a lot of pencils over a lot of time, the pencils might be biased to tip a certain way.


Sorry, I don't follow that.

 
Quote
I understand the RecA protein acts very much like a microtubule (I am counting on your expertise to argue this point if applicable).  That is a rather convienent coincidence.


I don't really think so. There are similarities, of course. It forms filaments assembled from monomers, but it does so by assembling around DNA. Given its function of catalyzing strand exchange during recombination, and the linear nature of DNA, that's not particularly surprising.

There are other proteins that form filaments in a generally similar way. Coat protein from tabacco mosaic virus is a good example, and that's a case where there's no reason to invoke any quantum computing.

The simple explanation is that assembling monomers into helical filaments is a convenient way to generate long filaments from proteins. That's really the common theme I see. RecA needs to make linear filaments to coat linear DNA and promote strand exchange. TMV coat protein needs to make linear filaments to coat viral RNA. Tubulin needs to make linear filaments to provide structural support to the cell. Other geometries could also work, but they would be less efficient.

 
Quote
I am not suggesting some human-like intelligence designed it that way.  Think of it as some unknown evolutionary advantage to having a quantum computer in charge of this highly important function.


Except that you're pretty much begging the question. You've decided that quantum computers exist in biology, and you're using that to justify the hypothesis that RecA is a quantum computer. I see no evidentiary basis to do that.

 
Quote
And thanks for noticing the recA gene and RecA protein.  I feel my efforts weren’t wasted.


You're welcome! I tend to be a bit anal about that kind of thing, so I'm one to notice.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,19:49   

Hi qetzal,

Did you know this science stuff can be exciting?!?

The internet isn't half bad either.

One of the reasons I like arguing on blogs is it forces me to research my responses.  You wrote...
Quote
Except that you're pretty much begging the question. You've decided that quantum computers exist in biology, and you're using that to justify the hypothesis that RecA is a quantum computer. I see no evidentiary basis to do that.


The RecA protein was a surprise bonus.  It isn't key to the hypothesis.  It is just an intreguing possibility.  Life's general use of quantum mechanics, especially in DNA and microtubules is enough.  And speaking of surprise bonuses when I went looking for the latest and greatest on life using quantum mechanics, I found that a new term is being coined "bio-quantum physics."  But that is not all, those fine folk at Berkeley Labs have an update...

Like the peeling of an onion, the secrets of photosynthesis are being revealed layer by layer. 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.

Green plants and certain bacteria are able to transfer solar energy almost instantaneously from light-capturing pigment molecules — for plants, the main photosynthetic pigment is chlorophyll — into reaction centers where solar energy is converted into chemical energy. The energy transfer happens so fast and is so efficient that less than five percent is lost as heat.

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.

However, as is so often the case in science, solving one mystery led to another. What is the source of this remarkably long-lived quantum coherence? A second team, again led by Fleming, believes it has found the answer.

Preserving quantum coherence

"From our investigation, we conclude that the protein environment in the reaction center works collectively to keep the fluctuations of excited electronics states of pigment molecules in phase, and therefore protects quantum coherence," says Hohjai Lee, a member of Fleming's research group and co-author of a recent paper in Science describing their work. "This is a brand-new function of the protein in the reaction center."

link

It's no longer a question of whether life directly utilizes quantum mechanics but how and in how many ways.

I will be providing an update on DNA processing next.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,20:30   

continuing...

From a paper (essay?) titled Bio-quantum computing...

BIO-QUANTUM COMPUTERS
The spitting in Informational and Physical Quantum levels of Space-Time can be imagined as a gateway to a new challenge in Bio-Computing , dropping down to the fundamental quantum existence of virtual information. One of these challenges will be to utilize the above concepts and rules of bio-quantum physics to develop Bio-Quantum Computers (8). In fact, DNA gene-communication can use both: 1) the localised copy of genes and also can have 2) a simultaneous delocalized role in communicating gene information. In fact DNA, as a nano-biotechnology, can utilize two functions to communicate: 1) through transfer of quantitative localized information by near contact with RNAs to generate proteins, and 2) to diffuse qualitative information by means of working as an ANTENNA able to transmit at gene signals at a distance , using a system of quantum-teletransportation. This second method of gene information by means of simultaneous transmission is necessary to activate the co-ordination of various living functions in the cell as well as for developing the complex cellular dynamical reproduction of forms , e.g to controll the functional complex folding of DNA and proteins , and to co-organize the metabolic funtionality utill the programmed apopthosis of the cell. (9) Henceforth, following the above quantized space-time theory it is becoming evident that Bio-Computers could be made from organic materials using DNA.


From a paper (essay?) titled 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.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,20:39   

Hi creeky belly,

What were we talking about again?

Oh yea!  How a "fair and balanced" view would suggest that room-temperature quantum effects might not be possible.

Excuse me while I suggest it is a pretty safe presumption that nature figured out a way.

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,21:22   

Quote
With all this information, the quantum search algorithmic requirements from the DNA structure are clear. It is convenient to take the distinct nucleotide bases as the quantum basis states in the Hilbert space. Then (1) The
quantum query transformation Ub must be found in the base-pairing with Hydrogen bonds. (2) The symmetric
transformation Us must be found in the base-independent processes occurring along the sides of the ladder. (3) An
environment with good quantum coherence must exist. Thermal noise is inevitable at T ? 300?K inside the cells, so
the transformations must be stable against such fluctuations.
Figuratively, the best that can be achieved is
Actual evolution = lim decoherence ? 0

[Quantum evolution] . (4)
Thus we need quantum features that smoothly cross over to the classical regime, i.e. features that are reasonably
stable against small decoherent fluctuations. Examples are: (a) geometric and topological phases, and (b) projection/
measurement operators.

He talks about enzymes forming a shield, but these are the same temperature concerns I have. I haven't found any links to experiments carried out since this....but if you know of any that would be very interesting. Sincerely.
From another of Dr. Patel's papers: arxiv:quant-ph/0105001v2:
       
Quote
The optimal quantum search algorithm was found by Lov Grover (Grover 1996), and it relates the number of objects, N, that can be distinguished by a number of yes/no queries, Q, according to

(2Q + 1) sin?1(1/pN) = /2 . (1)

This algorithm does not use the full power of quantum logic; concepts of superposition and interference familiar from the study of classical waves are sufficient to describe it. The algorithm starts with a uniform superposition of all possible states, corresponding to equal probability for every building block to get selected. Then it applies two reflection operations alternately: (a) change the sign of the amplitude of the desired state by the yes/no query, and (b) reflect all amplitudes about their average value. The algorithm stops after Q of these alternating reflections
to yield the desired state with a high probability.

   
Quote
Excuse me while I suggest it is a pretty safe presumption that nature figured out a way.

I'd like think so, too, but there's still no evidence for this yet. We both share the same question about the coherence times at high temperatures. As Dr. Patel says in his most recent paper, arxiv:0705.3895v1:
   
Quote
In principle, this is experimentally testable. Our technology is yet to reach a stage where we can directly observe molecular dynamics in a liquid environment. But indirect tests of optimality are plausible, e.g. constructing artificial genetic texts containing a different number of letters and letting it compete with the supposedly optimal natural language [Patel (2001b)]. ... Explicit formulation of a testable scenario, based on physical properties of the available molecules and capable of avoiding fast decoherence, is an open challenge.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,21:33   

Quote
It's no longer a question of whether life directly utilizes quantum mechanics but how and in how many ways


More post hoc reasoning, it's still gods of the gaps.

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,22:44   

Hi Creeky Belly,

Thank you for the head's up on the latest Dr. Patel paper.

Here is a link to it.

Patel is clearly more focused on the algorithm as opposed to the computer running it.  His algorithm requires superposition...

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.

...and...

Grover’s algorithm needs certain type of superpositions, and catalytic enzymes can stabilize certain type of superpositions. Do the two match, and if so, what is the nature of this superposition? The specific details of the answer depend on the dynamical mechanism involved. The requisite superposition is of molecules that have a largely common structure while differing from each other by about 5-10 atoms. I have proposed two possibilities [Patel (2001a); Patel (2006b)]:

In 2001, Patel presumed the DNA was a quantum computer.  It was the most obvious choice.  Apparently the likes of Max Tegmark insisted that room-temperature quantum computers weren't possible.  This compelled Patel to come up with a "plan B." which is a contrived superposition look alike using classical processing.

As for showing it experimentally; your Patel quote was taken a little out of context, you left off the question being answered.

Do the living organisms use Grover’s algorithm even today?
In principle, this is experimentally testable. Our technology is yet to reach a stage where we can directly observe molecular dynamics in a liquid environment. But indirect tests of optimality are plausible, e.g. constructing artificial genetic texts containing a different number of letters and letting it compete with the supposedly optimal natural language [Patel (2001b)].


This was talking about Patel's entire hypothesis, not just DNA as a quantum computer.

I suspect once Patel sees the data coming out of Berkeley Lab on photosynthesis, plan B will be quickly discarded and Patel will revert back to his original, more intuitive, presumption that superposition implies a quantum computer.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,22:47   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 27 2007,19:49)
It's no longer a question of whether life directly utilizes quantum mechanics but how and in how many ways.

AFAIK, that's been clear for quite a while. After all, life depends on chemistry, and chemistry depends on physics. I believe it's old news that chemical bonds and chemical reactions have quantum mechanical aspects.

The work on quantum coherence in photosynthesis sounds pretty interesting. I readily admit I don't have the physics to evaluate their research. Still, I highly doubt that their work gives us much reason to think that life is capable of quantum computing.

Quote
continuing...

From a paper (essay?) titled Bio-quantum computing...


Sorry, but this guy's a crank. There is NO evidence that DNA works as an antenna to transmit gene signals at a distance. His quantum physics language sounds highly bogus to me, but like I said, I don't have the background to really critique it. I DO have the background to critique his biology, and it's crap.

For instance, his reference (9) in the passage you quoted is to another of his essays. In that, he says things like this:

Quote
We know that from the point of view of bio-electrical behaviour, the closed and stable DNA is
considered a bio-polymer ; hence it does not conduct any electromagnetic field as in a wire. Rather,
when DNA is open via the enzyme (DNA-polymerase) into two anti-parallel half chains and after is
closed again from side to side with the binding protein activities, the DNA chains become polarised
and depolarised. During the opening and closing, the DNA can emit quantum particles ("Gene-
Ons") corresponding to the double helix polarization in “bi-polarons”, interacting with “biophonon”
emission. These last are generated by the breaking of hydrogen bonds of the sequences, of
A-T and C-G couplings. Therefore, such quantum particles generated by the opening of the DNA
helicoidal molecular chains, and by the breaking of the h-bonds, can communicate a quantumspectrum,
based on a series of "Gene-Ons". This spectrum has an exact correspondence with
quantum–pulses to the coding information of the gene because it is emitted at the same time that the
gene is copied by the RNA.


Trust me, that is complete and utter BS. DNA is a biopolymer at all times, not just when it's "closed and stable." DNA polymerase doesn't open the helix; helicases do that. The chains don't get polarised and depolarised, and in fact, there's a better chance of DNA conducting electromagnetic fields when it's closed than when it's opened, because of the base stacking that occurs in the double helix. "Gene-ons" are completely imaginary, and, oh yeah, genes don't get copied by RNA.

Quote
From a paper (essay?) titled Quantum Algorithms and the Genetic Code...


OK, this one seems more legit. Again, most of it is physics-speak that I can't critique. However, there's at least one big red flag in the biology:

Quote
Enzymes are able to create superposed states of chemically distinct molecules. This is an active task. Various nucleotide bases differ from each other only in terms of small chemical groups, containing less than 10 atoms, at their Hydrogen bonding end. To convert one base into another, enzymes have to be repositories of these chemical groups which differentiate between various nucleotide bases. Enzymes are known to do cut-and-paste jobs with such chemical groups (e.g. one of the simplest substitution processes is methylation, replacing ?H by ?CH3, which converts U to T). Given such transition matrix elements, quantum dynamics automatically produces a superposition state as the lowest energy equilibrium state. (Note that the cut-and-paste job in a classical environment would produce a mixture, but in a quantum environment it produces superposition.) It is mandatory that the enzymes do the cut-and-paste job only on the growing strand and not on the intact strand. Perhaps this is ensured by other molecular bonds.


Enzymes do not convert one base into another during replication. It sounds like he thinks enzymes generate a superposition of the 4 possible bases during replication, and that superposition collapses down to the one correct base that pairs with the opposite strand. That's just wrong.

A few other things are problematic:

Quote
It is obvious why DNA replication always takes place in the presence of enzymes. If base-pairing were to occur by chance collisions, it would occur anywhere along the exposed unpaired strand.


No, the reason it requires enzymes is that the phosphodiester bond won't form spontaneously under normal, uncatalyzed conditions. Base pairing can occur by chance collisions, but it doesn't lead to a backbone linkage.

Quote
As long as quantum coherence is maintained, the replication process is reversible. This can easily explain the error-correcting exonuclease action of the polymerase enzymes.


No, because the exonuclease activity is separable from the polymerase activity. It resides in a separate domain of the protein.

Maybe his arguments about quantum search algorithms have merit. I don't know. They're not obviously BS, like the previous links were. But I'm still suspicious, because it's clear that he's making at least some fundamental errors regarding the biology, and I can't judge how those impact his quantum models.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,23:20   

Hi qetzal,

Yea, I only skimmed the first paper.  I will take your word on it.

The second paper is Patel in 2001.

Did he improve his biology in the 2007 paper?

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,23:22   

Hmmm. My ignorance of quantum mechanics is pissing me off.

Waves cancel by meeting a reverse phase wave. What happens to particles when they meet an opposite phase?

After an hour of google, I'm just asking for a basic answer.

--------------
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

   
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,23:46   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 27 2007,23:20)
Hi qetzal,

Yea, I only skimmed the first paper.  I will take your word on it.

The second paper is Patel in 2001.

Did he improve his biology in the 2007 paper?

Well, the discussion of how the genetic code may have evolved is provacative. I know that this is an active area of investigation, but I haven't followed it, so I can't say whether his ideas are reasonable. I don't see any glaring errors in that part, for what that's worth.

However, he still seems to be advancing the idea of superposition of all four bases during DNA replication:

   
Quote
Grover’s algorithm needs certain type of superpositions, and catalytic enzymes can stabilize certain type of superpositions. Do the two match, and if so, what is the nature of this superposition? The specific details of the answer depend on the dynamical mechanism involved. The requisite superposition is of molecules that have a largely common structure while differing from each other by about 5-10 atoms. I have proposed two possibilities [Patel (2001a); Patel (2006b)]:

(1) In a quantum scenario, wavefunctions get superposed and the algorithm enhances the probability of finding the desired state. Chemically distinct molecules cannot be directly superposed, but they can be effectively superposed by a rapid cut-and-paste job of chemical groups (enzymes are known to perform such cut-and-paste jobs). Whether this really occurs, faster than the identification time scale [t-sub-b] and with the decoherence time scale significantly longer than [h-bar]/[omega-sub-0], is a question that should be experimentally addressed. It is a tough proposition, and most theoretical estimates are pessimistic.

(2) In a classical wave scenario, all the candidate molecules need to be present simultaneously and coupled together in a specific manner. The algorithm concentrates mechanical energy of the system into the desired molecule by coherent oscillations, helping it cross the energy barrier and complete the chemical reaction. Enzymes are required to couple the components together with specific normal modes of oscillation, and long enough coherence times are achievable. This scenario provides the same speed up in the number of queries Q as the quantum one, but involves extra spatial costs. The extra cost is not insurmountable in the small N solutions relevant to genetic languages, and the extra stability against decoherence makes the classical wave scenario preferable. (Once again note that time optimisation is far more important in biology than space optimisation.)


Unless I grossly misunderstand what he's proposing, option (1) above is completely untenable, and it's disturbing to me that he still offers it for consideration, having had 6 years to learn that basic biochemistry rules it out. It makes me wonder about the validity of everything else he says.

I'm not sure what he's suggesting in option (2), so I can't say if it's compatible with known molecular biology & biochemistry or not.

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,23:48   

Quote
What happens to particles when they meet an opposite phase?

It depends on their kinetic energy, if they collide relativistically, they tend to scatter like billiard balls. The Pauli exclusion principle rules electrons most of the time when they're sent to collide at non-relativistic speeds, which means they're never found at the same spot. That's probably why it was tough to find anything on it. The only way they can be found near each other is by coupling two with opposite spin, which usually happens in atoms. This "pseudo-force" actually keeps white dwarfs from collapsing, the fact that particles don't want to be found near each other causes a pressure, which keeps the dying star from imploding.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 27 2007,23:57   

Hi BWE,

I can empathize.  I had a week off from work with nothing to do so I decided to figure out this quantum stuff.  I had a headache for the whole week.

Your question is the classic wave/particle problem.  It gave people like Einstein fits.

Some in the Copenhagen school dealt with it by suggesting everything is a wavefunction (there are no particles).  This is what Penrose does.

Others answer the problem by saying the particle ended up in an alternate reality (Many Worlds).

I am almost inclined to believe in a God playing cruel jokes over the Many Worlds interpretation.  They are both metaphysical IMO.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2007,03:11   

Quote (BWE @ Sep. 28 2007,07:22)
Hmmm. My ignorance of quantum mechanics is pissing me off.

Waves cancel by meeting a reverse phase wave. What happens to particles when they meet an opposite phase?

After an hour of google, I'm just asking for a basic answer.

Don’t worry that doesn't stop the quantum quacks, which outnumber IDists by at least 3 orders of magnitude and...... Speaking of magnets…… quantum mechanics is an even bigger attractor of the weekend feral pseudoscientist than is Dembskian Complexity.

Just google quantum pseudoscience .

The great thing is quantum mechanics has such a vast potential for obscurantism that it is not unknown for Engineers to declare themselves experts in the subject.

And since true experts in the field have little interest in wasting time on crackpots, quantum mechanics makes a perfect target for religion as science.

If quantum mechanics was shown to be intricately involved in the formation of the universe some religious nutcase would say it was:

a) Against god and therefore not true.
b) The direct result of gods work and therefore proof for god’s existence
c) True only when it left a single gap big enough to fit gods and therefore while not agreeing 100% with Genesis could be interpreted as being consistent by reinterpreting Genesis in a subjective manner.

Astrology is better able to explain why this is so....than is quantum mechanics.

It all depends where the observer is.

Have you seen this Interpretation of quantum mechanics

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2007,07:45   

Hi BWE,

The Wikipedia link that K.E. provided is a good one to show you shouldn't be too hard on yourself for being confused on the issue.  It isn't an easy question to answer.

Here is a Wikipedia link discussing Wave/Particle duality.

Wave–particle duality is deeply embedded into the foundations of quantum mechanics, so well that modern practitioners rarely discuss it as such. In the formalism of the theory, all the information about a particle is encoded in its wave function, a complex function roughly analogous to the height of a wave at each point in space. This function evolves according to a differential equation (generically called the Schrödinger equation), and this equation gives rise to wave-like phenomena such as interference and diffraction.

The particle-like behavior is most evident due to phenomena associated with measurement in quantum mechanics. Upon measuring the location of the particle, the wave-function will randomly "collapse" to a sharply peaked function at some location, with the likelihood of any particular location equal to the squared amplitude of the wave-function there. The measurement will return a well-defined position, a property traditionally associated with particles.

Although this picture is somewhat simplified (to the non-relativistic case), it is adequate to capture the essence of current thinking on the phenomena historically called "wave–particle duality". (See also: Mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics.)


Alternative views

Particle-only view
At least one physicist considers the “wave-duality” a misnomer, as L. Ballentine, Quantum Mechanics, A Modern Development, p.4, explains:

When first discovered, particle diffraction was a source of great puzzlement. Are “particles” really “waves? in the early experiments, the diffraction patterns were detected holistically by means of a photographic plate, which could not detect individual particles. As a result, the notion grew that particle and wave properties were mutually incompatible, or complementary, in the sense that different measurement apparatuses would be required to observe them. That idea, however, was only an unfortunate generalization from a technological limitation. Today it is possible to detect the arrival of individual electrons, and to see the diffraction pattern emerge as a statistical pattern made up of many small spots (Tonomura) et al, 1989. Evidently, quantum particles are indeed particles, but whose behaviour is very different from classical physics would have us to expect.”


Wave-only view
At least one scientist proposes that the duality can be replaced by a "wave-only" view. Carver Mead's Collective Electrodynamics: Quantum Foundations of Electromagnetism (2000) analyzes the behavior of electrons and photons purely in terms of electronic wave functions, and attributes the apparent particle-like behavior to quantization effects and eigenstates. According to reviewer David Haddon:[12]

Mead has cut the Gordian knot of quantum complementarity. He claims that atoms, with their neutrons, protons, and electrons, are not particles at all but pure waves of matter. Mead cites as the gross evidence of the exclusively wave nature of both light and matter the discovery between 1933 and 1996 of ten examples of pure wave phenomena, including the ubiquitous laser of CD players, the self-propagating electrical currents of superconductors, and the Bose–Einstein condensate of atoms.


And while K.E. may consider it just more "psuedoscience", here are some interesting experimental results (Ashfer Experiment).

Afshar claims that his experiment invalidates the complementarity principle and has far-reaching implications for the understanding of quantum mechanics, challenging the Copenhagen interpretation. According to John G. Cramer, Afshar's results support Cramer's own transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics and challenges the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

So what is this "transactional interpretation"?

More from Wikipedia...
Suppose a particle (such as a photon) emitted from a source could interact with one of two detectors. According to TIQM, the source emits a usual (retarded) wave forward in time, the "offer wave", and when this wave reaches the detectors, each one replies with an advanced wave, the "confirmation wave", that travels backwards in time, back to the source. The phases of offer and confirmation waves are correlated in such a way that these waves interfere positively to form a wave of the full amplitude in the space-time region between emitting and detection events, and they interfere negatively and cancel out elsewhere in space-time (i.e., before the emitting point and after the absorption point). The size of the interaction between the offer wave and a detector's confirmation wave determines the probability with which the particle will strike that detector rather than the other one. In this interpretation, the collapse of the wavefunction does not happen at any specific point in time, but is "atemporal" and occurs along the whole transaction, the region of space-time where offer and confirmation waves interact. The waves are seen as physically real, rather than a mere mathematical device to record the observer's knowledge as in some other interpretations of quantum mechanics.

John Cramer has argued that the transactional interpretation is consistent with the outcome of the Afshar experiment, while the Copenhagen interpretation and the many-worlds interpretation are not.[3]


Sound familiar?  It sounds like a different way of describing Penrose's OR interpretation.

I consider Penrose's OR to be a Copenhagen derivative, but that is just a label.

Labels aren't important, ideas are.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2007,07:56   

Hi K.E.,

One of the things I point out to ID proponents is that it is always easier to stand on the sidelines throwing stones as opposed to suiting up and joining in the game.

As you are probably well aware, the typical ID proponent rarely annunciates an alternative, but focuses on criticizing the status quo.

While you may have the luxury of hiding behind status quo privilege for biology, you don't get the same luxury for quantum physics.  There is no status quo.

Would you care to enlighten us on your detailed view have how you suggest resolving the issues that have puzzled people like Einstein, Hawking and Penrose?

Or are you the official AtBC stone thrower?  :D

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2007,09:02   

Quote
Would you care to enlighten us on your detailed view have how you suggest resolving the issues that have puzzled people like Einstein, Hawking and Penrose?


No.

I'll let you take on that task, you seem to doing an admirable job. Or an expert.

How's Penrose's Nobel coming along? **guffaw**


   
Quote

Or are you the official AtBC stone thrower?  


....People in glass houses TP.

You freely quote Dembski who has a track record that if he was engaged in practicing medicine or accounting  would see him in Jail, I count him as having nothing positive whatsoever to say outside pure creationist apologetics .

And for no other reason than personal financial reward.

TP you must live in some sort of idyllic gated community if you can’t recognize that, or do you approve? Why do you think the establishment at Baylor won’t deal with him?

Science ultimately is a test of the individuals conscience, its history is littered with failure of a moral nature (you know what lying is don’t you?).

Since a practical material error actually improves scientific knowledge when a deliberate deception  is passed as fact then why wouldn’t that individual be disregarded as an honest witness?

Dembski to give him credit has  retreated to sell pulp fiction aka creationism and makes no bones about giving up trying to do honest science, he even wants to redefine science to his debased standards.

He doesn’t stand a chance. And neither do you if you reduce the standards of evidence to those of religion.

I really don't see the need to engage in a rhetorical skirmish with question begging nonsense which unfortunately from where I stand I can see coming like a couple of Mormons on a hot desert road at midday.

All faux smiley, sweaty and obsequious. Whose message like most things from American low Protestant culture is saccharin to the point of nausea and remarkably ambitious in its appeal to unashamed ignorance. All the while hiding their dirty little secrets. In their eyes only the elite would believe evolution in some sort of reverse Straussian world. There seems to be some deep guilt operating there.

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
JAM



Posts: 517
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2007,10:20   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 27 2007,15:39)  
Quote
Labels aren't important, ideas are.

But making predictions and testing them is far more important. Limiting yourself to retrodictions is scientific mendacity.
Quote
Thank you for your comment and thank you for providing the link.  As you pointed out, MikeGene said...
"A working hypothesis has been that the first cells (uni-cellular life forms) were front-loaded with information that would facilitate the evolution of multi-cellular life." (emphasis mine)

I'm curious--in what way is this a "working" hypothesis, if neither Mike nor you are willing to put it to work to make predictions about future observations, while falling over yourselves to claim that data from others fit the hypothesis?

That ain't science.
Quote
I have noticed MikeGene is pretty careful with his words.

I have noticed that he is pretty careful to avoid making predictions.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2007,10:50   

Thank you creeky belly.

I found what I was looking for. Being as I'm not an engineer or a physicist, QM for me is basically the dancing wu li (or woo eee, depending how you look at it) masters. I did read the Tao of Physics and, for all it's errors, I actually enjoyed it. I would be a quantum mysticist if I cared enough I suppose since I fit the criteria: basically mystical and thoroughly uneducated in the field.

TP,
It's all candy to me. One thing that I think k.e. spoke well about is that I am loath to give Dembski a mention in any but the most demeaning contexts. The ID movement has produced nothing but division, lies and passionate morons defending a god-given right to assault sense and sensibility in the same world I inhabit. Life is short, if I can contribute to the marginalization of people like Dembski, Ken Ham, et. al. during my stint, I will die happy.

The quantum speculation of this thread is fun though I'm afraid I don't have much to contribute. I do understand the particle/ wave problem and Heisenburg's uncertainty principle well enough to follow a conversation. My question was specific (Hmmm. maybe it had specified complexity?) and I appreciate the responses.

--------------
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

   
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2007,11:02   

Quote
And while K.E. may consider it just more "psuedoscience", here are some interesting experimental results (Ashfer Experiment).

Afshar claims that his experiment invalidates the complementarity principle and has far-reaching implications for the understanding of quantum mechanics, challenging the Copenhagen interpretation. According to John G. Cramer, Afshar's results support Cramer's own transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics and challenges the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

So what is this "transactional interpretation"?

More from Wikipedia...
Suppose a particle (such as a photon) emitted from a source could interact with one of two detectors. According to TIQM, the source emits a usual (retarded) wave forward in time, the "offer wave", and when this wave reaches the detectors, each one replies with an advanced wave, the "confirmation wave", that travels backwards in time, back to the source. The phases of offer and confirmation waves are correlated in such a way that these waves interfere positively to form a wave of the full amplitude in the space-time region between emitting and detection events, and they interfere negatively and cancel out elsewhere in space-time (i.e., before the emitting point and after the absorption point). The size of the interaction between the offer wave and a detector's confirmation wave determines the probability with which the particle will strike that detector rather than the other one. In this interpretation, the collapse of the wavefunction does not happen at any specific point in time, but is "atemporal" and occurs along the whole transaction, the region of space-time where offer and confirmation waves interact. The waves are seen as physically real, rather than a mere mathematical device to record the observer's knowledge as in some other interpretations of quantum mechanics.

John Cramer has argued that the transactional interpretation is consistent with the outcome of the Afshar experiment, while the Copenhagen interpretation and the many-worlds interpretation are not.[3]

Sound familiar?  It sounds like a different way of describing Penrose's OR interpretation.

I consider Penrose's OR to be a Copenhagen derivative, but that is just a label.

Labels aren't important, ideas are.

I have to admit this was one of the more entertaining seminars I've gone to (John Cramer is a faculty member at my university). One of my professors at the time told us about Afshar's experiment and that he would be giving a talk on campus. So imagine a room filled with experimentalists (including Afshar) and the theorists who invited him. My prof opened up the comment session by suggesting that this result isn't particularly surprising and this turned into quite a heated argument amongst the theorist (mostly Cramer) and the experimentalists. Much of the criticism came from the points brought up by the wiki page, mainly the fringe visibility and the existence of true which-way information. My feeling is that this is a fringe visibility problem, from what I've read about the experiment on arxiv.

If every quantum theory is consistent in content with Orch-OR, then why bring this up? If Orch-OR theory really doesn't require complementarity, it's a moot point. I know you like to pick up on the traditional woo words like space-time and time-travel, but take another look at Libet's experiments. Does he really say that the brain works backwards in time, or that the brain has a buffer?

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2007,11:11   

Well there is always backwards motion

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2007,11:13   

Hi K.E.,

Welcome to the playing field.

While I explained some of this before I don't mind explaining it again and expounding on it.  Because I think it is good to get this out in the open.

I don't like Dembski.

Really...

I think he is an example of the worst kind of intellectual manipulator there is.  He is trying to enable people to quit thinking about a problem and just "believe".  He says just enough to convince people that he saying something substantial but when you ask the converted to explain it, they can't.  They just believe.  To a lot of people, they are simply forced to make a choice between PhD types saying things they don't understand.

So what do you do about it?

Jumping up and down and yelling about it isn't going to convince anyone other than those who already understand the situation.

By my training and personality, I happen to be a quick learner.  I can usually get to the root cause of situations.  As an engineer, figuring out the problem gets you most of the way to a solution.

Problem - People are letting others think for them.

Solution - Provoke people to think for themselves.

Problem - People don't want to accept the Status Quo.

Solution - Provide a reasonable, thought-provoking alternative.

Problem - The 10% minority don't want to discuss alternatives.

Solution - Point out that 90% is a lot more than 10% and to the history of what has happened to troublesome intellectuals.

Unfortunately, I have to run and deal with real life.

Talk to you all later.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2007,11:28   

Me missing a meme? (or three) I love me, I love my ROCKETBOOM

Rocketboom: Memes, Iran, NBC, Mars rlly

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2007,11:37   

Quote
He is trying to enable people to quit thinking about a problem and just "believe".


And your point is?

,This has never been a problem for religion they are just tapping into an evolutionary trait.

Billll baby is ingratiating himself into a community of persons far from his atheist roots as is preternaturally possible. The further he can travel up the sphincter of American evangelism the further he is from his bull dyke boy hating mother. Capisce?

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2007,23:55   

Hi creeky belly,

 
Quote
I have to admit this was one of the more entertaining seminars I've gone to (John Cramer is a faculty member at my university)... this turned into quite a heated argument amongst the theorist (mostly Cramer) and the experimentalists. Much of the criticism came from the points brought up by the wiki page, mainly the fringe visibility and the existence of true which-way information. My feeling is that this is a fringe visibility problem, from what I've read about the experiment on arxiv.

Sounds interesting.  Thanks for the story.
 
Quote
If every quantum theory is consistent in content with Orch-OR, then why bring this up? If Orch-OR theory really doesn't require complementarity, it's a moot point. I know you like to pick up on the traditional woo words like space-time and time-travel, but take another look at Libet's experiments. Does he really say that the brain works backwards in time, or that the brain has a buffer?

Have you figured out I am not your typical bad guy yet?  I may be a quantum quack, but I am being honest about it.  Your attempts at twisting my words isn't being honest.

I explained I see two general camps, Copenhagen and Many Worlds.  Penrose's OR is on the Copenhagen side.  Penrose OR rejects Many Worlds specifically and particles generally.  I don't suggest Penrose OR is consistent with "every quantum theory."

I also never suggested Libet said anything about time flying backwards.  Dr. Hameroff discussed retrocausal quatum effects.  Libet just supplied the experimental data point that there is a period of 500ms preceding conscious decisions.  This brings up the issue of explaining how professional tennis can be played when a half a second delay in response is too long.

BTW, did you know Libet died about a month ago?   I just read that.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,00:07   

Hi K.E.,

Have you decided whether you want me to quit posting or not?  (I'm not asking JAM because I suspect I already know his vote).

BTW, I liked the backwards motion Rocketboom.  It was clever.

  
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,02:08   

TP, there is another camp.  The view that particles and waves are only the appearance of matter depending upon the method of observation.  The actual structure of matter is more than the sum of the two and as yet undescribed by us.  Particles appear when the particle nature is observed and so forth.  not really of any value in this discussion but I did want to point out that it's not as cut and dried as two choices.

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,02:14   

Quote
This brings up the issue of explaining how professional tennis can be played when a half a second delay in response is too long.

I didn't hear about Libet's death, but here are some thoughts. There could be many other factors that tennis players pick up on: frequency of faults, favoring down the middle versus cross court, watching opponent's body orientation and habits, looking at the racket orientation. Having played tennis myself, much of it is knowing the best place position yourself. If you're talking about raw reaction time, simply trying to react to the ball is probably not a good strategy (around 186 ms for the ball to leave the racket and reach the net on a serve).
       
Quote
Have you figured out I am not your typical bad guy yet?  I may be a quantum quack, but I am being honest about it.  Your attempts at twisting my words isn't being honest.

Except when you say things like: "Even though my theory doesn't fit the content of this other theory, it's just a labeling problem. They're really one in the same." That really gets my goad, because it smacks of equivocation. I'd be perfectly happy to accept that you think that quantum reality acts more like TIQM, and in that respect, you disagree with the Orch-OR interpretation. Or to go just one level deeper and explain exactly how Orch-OR is consistent with any interpretation of QM. You also scoffed at my questions about temperature related decoherence, which have still yet to be answered. That's all I'm looking for; some acknowledgment of your "wooery".

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,06:33   

Hi skeptic,

I agree there is a third camp.  I think of this group of people as those waiting for a better explaination.  Einstein and Schrödinger were in this camp.  The point of the EPR paradox and the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment was to point out the incompleteness of the prevaling quantum theories.

During the 1994 debate with Sir Rodger Penrose, Stephen Hawking appeared to still be in this camp.  Penrose was arguing that the EPR effect wasn't a paradox and the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment couldn't just be ignored.

I understand that Schrödinger expressed regret that he presented his thought experiment.  It became an albatross around the necks of all quantum physicists.

As an outsider with an engineering background, several pieces fit together when it is accepted that there is no such thing as solid particles and General Relativity is real.

When I see secure communication devices being build on the presumption of the reality of EPR and/or GHZ state "woo" and Berkley lab studying photosynthesis on the presumption of room-temperature quantum effects it becomes obvious that it is time to quit looking for an answer and admit you have already found it.

Of course the answer might be incomplete and will be adjusted, or even totally revamped.  We did it with Newtonian physics.  We can do it again if and when needed.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,06:45   

Hi creek belly,

When you put quotation marks around a multiple sentence quote, it is usually assumed it is an exact quotation.  Even more so when you preface it with "Except when you say things like...".

This is a case of you literally trying to put words in my mouth.  What you suggested is not what I said, it is not what I think.

If you rephrase your comment I will answer it appropriately.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,09:49   

Quote (creeky belly @ Sep. 29 2007,03:14)
           
Quote
This brings up the issue of explaining how professional tennis can be played when a half a second delay in response is too long.

I didn't hear about Libet's death, but here are some thoughts. There could be many other factors that tennis players pick up on: frequency of faults, favoring down the middle versus cross court, watching opponent's body orientation and habits, looking at the racket orientation. Having played tennis myself, much of it is knowing the best place position yourself. If you're talking about raw reaction time, simply trying to react to the ball is probably not a good strategy (around 186 ms for the ball to leave the racket and reach the net on a serve).

The 500ms data is a challenge primarily to the notion that we consciously guide behaviors - that we become conscious of a visual scene, contemplate its contents, select actions based upon what is consciously apprehended, then act. There are many lines of evidence that suggest that motor planning, even that based upon visual information, includes major elements (both cortical and subcortical) that are entirely unconscious - and unconstrained by the 500ms delay. In the instance of very rapidly executed behaviors (such as in tennis), both the sensory information upon which rapid acts are based and the the motor plans that guide the behavior become available to conscious processing only after the fact - the first as a visual experience and the second as a sense of volition. Even visual-motor behaviors that are executed quite deliberately, such as inserting a card into a slot, are guided by extensive processing of visual information that is never conscious, and that does not contribute significantly to the experienced visual scene. See, for example, Milner, D. A., & Goodale, M. A. (1996). The Visual Brain in Action. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

This is not to say that conscious processing has no role to play. Much of what goes on in tennis (and other rapid motor activities) is driven not in response to a sensory scene that represents the present, but rather by means of a multilevel model - a constantly updated model that includes representations of the anticipated scene, the player's body and possible motor actions, and even the player's understanding of the strategic circumstances within which their opponent's play is embedded. Play is guided by the anticipatory model rather than real time sensory information, which at best  enables last instant adjustments of the model for better fit.

A clear example of this is seen in hitting in major league baseball: There is usually insufficient time for a batter to determine which pitch is coming once the ball is thrown (fastball or something off speed?), so the hitter attempts to anticipate a particular pitch on the basis of strategy and "sits on it." This is a very high level activity that includes the batter's representation of a pitcher who understands he faces a batter who is attempting anticipate his next pitch, and so on. Upon anticipating a fastball in a given count, the batter initiates a subcortically executed motor plan for hitting a fastball as the pitch is delivered, using sensory information to perform last minute modifications of the plan to enable contact. If the guess is wrong there is often too little time to substitute another plan and the batter (batsman?) fans at the ball.

In short, while the 500ms data is a challenge to the ordinary notion that we are entirely conscious actors, it doesn't indicate that things are going too fast for forward causality in the nervous system to accommodate; much of what guides behavior is unconcious, while other elements are pre-processed.

--------------
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

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,11:19   

Hi Reciprocating Bill,

Thank you for your comment.

I couldn't have done a better job myself.  I understood this prevailing opinion but people get confused when I argue both sides of an issue.

You even brought in the fast ball example.

Hopefully, you will understand how I might view this as an unnecessary contrivance if, in fact, life's awareness (consciousness) can be traced to quantum effects that are interconnected over time.

Successfully merging General Relativity with quantum physics would mean the interconnectedness spans light years (which also means it spans years).  A 500ms span is nothing by comparison.

BTW, no one has brought up causal paradox yet (killing your own ancestors).  If this is holding you back from acceptance, don't let it.  The interesting part of interconnected quantum effects is that no peeking is allowed.  No causal paradox can happen because observing the quantum effect forces the objective reduction.  Unknowable quantum information is all that can travel in time.  What we would think of as normal information can not.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,11:56   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 29 2007,11:19)
BTW, no one has brought up causal paradox yet (killing your own ancestors).  

I had the Southern version, "being your own grandad", or was that a different thread?

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,11:56   

Quote
When you put quotation marks around a multiple sentence quote, it is usually assumed it is an exact quotation.  Even more so when you preface it with "Except when you say things like...".

This is a case of you literally trying to put words in my mouth.  What you suggested is not what I said, it is not what I think.

If you rephrase your comment I will answer it appropriately.

Fine my comment is this: is TIQM really consistent with Orch-Or? Why? How is Orch-OR a Copenhagen interpretation? That's all I want.

 
Quote
BTW, no one has brought up causal paradox yet (killing your own ancestors).  If this is holding you back from acceptance, don't let it.  The interesting part of interconnected quantum effects is that no peeking is allowed.  No causal paradox can happen because observing the quantum effect forces the objective reduction.  Unknowable quantum information is all that can travel in time.  What we would think of as normal information can not.

I actually brought this up a few pages back (page 1) when talking about the GHZ game:
 
Quote
The GHZ game can be resolved by noting that in order to compare the states through causally separated entangled pairs (or trios) information must be exchanged which requires GR causality.

Quantum information in the GHZ game can be transferred instantaneously, but comparing the states requires the exchange of classical information, which is subject to the limits of relativity.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,12:12   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 29 2007,12:19)
Hopefully, you will understand how I might view this as an unnecessary contrivance if, in fact, life's awareness (consciousness) can be traced to quantum effects that are interconnected over time.

Successfully merging General Relativity with quantum physics would mean the interconnectedness spans light years (which also means it spans years).  A 500ms span is nothing by comparison.

By example, this does raise an issue you would want to address as you pursue these quantized speculations.

The notions I referred to in my above post are not contrivances: there is a great deal of research that puts meat on those bones, research that continues to elaborate our understanding of, among other things, the role of unconscious visual guidance of motor actions and the basis of motor actions in an entirely unconscious vocabulary of subcortical motor plans. This emerging neurocognitive model of visual-motor processing, and its relationship to more frontal, executive and representational (and hence conscious) processing is being developed apace, without resort to specifically quantum notions.

The point is that that quantum models such as yours are competing in a theoretical and experimental space that is already harvesting considerable gains. Your model would need to offer added value in the form of useful empirical predictions that successfully guide neurobiological research, predictions that can't be purchased within more conventional levels of modeling. Absent that guidance it is your model that is an unnecessary contrivance vis real empirical research, and needs to demonstrate real value where the rubber meets the road before being regarded as a serious contender.  

There are analogous difficulties for this stuff vis evolutionary biology, which isn't looking for, and isn't feeling in need of, a revolutionary new causal framework in order to grasp precambrian evolutionary events - sniping from outside biology notwithstanding.

[edit]: Can you point me to other instances of the 'fastball' being used in this way? I'd like to see them.

--------------
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

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,12:29   

BTW, my comment above is not to say that there aren't interesting thoughts afoot regarding the relationship of consciousness to the stuff of physics, including quantum physics. However, the "hard problem" is so far from solution that virtually all contenders are philosophical/metaphysical in nature. I'm reading the very interesting Consciousness and its Place in Nature by Galen Strawson, who with a straight face and a lot of sensible logic argues for panpsychism. Included in the volume are a number of critical essays instructing Dr. Strawon (often quite convincingly) why his notion is appealing, but nonsensical (Colin McGuinn opens his essay by stating "I find myself in agreement with almost all of Galen's paper - except, that is, for his three main claims.") I haven yet reached Strawson's 100 page reply to his critics. The dialog is collegial and bracing.

--------------
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

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,12:35   

Hi Richardthughes,

I apologize if I missed that.

If it was in the other thread I wouldn't be surprised.  It was somewhat disorganized.

  
JAM



Posts: 517
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,12:42   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 29 2007,11:19)
Hopefully, you will understand how I might view this as an unnecessary contrivance if, in fact, life's awareness (consciousness) can be traced to quantum effects that are interconnected over time.

No one who is interested in real science would blow off massive amounts of data as an "unnecessary contrivance" when he has nothing but a house-of-cards hypothesis.

Whatever happened to "Let's do science," TP?

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,13:45   

Hi Creeky Belly,

You asked...
Quote
is TIQM really consistent with Orch-Or? Why? How is Orch-OR a Copenhagen interpretation? That's all I want.


I consider Penrose's OR to be a Copenhagen derivitative because Penrose's "Objective Reduction" serves the same purpose as Copenhagen's "Waveform Collapse" and is generally the same thing.  However, while Copenhagen left fuzzy the possibility that the waveform of an object collapsed into an actual particleform of the object.  That was fine for photons and, possibly, electrons.  But for 60 atom molecules (Bucky Balls) it became too much of a stretch for getting matter from non-matter.

It became apparent that objective reality is either a particle or a wave, not both.  Copenhagen approach continued with the waveform.  Penrose renamed the collapse to a Objective Reduction to indicate decoherence is the reduction of the wavefunction to an objective measurement/observation or quantum gravitational collapse.

Wikipeadia says
"[Penrose Interpretation] is a variety of objective collapse theory."
and says this about the Objective Collapse Theory

Collapse theories stand in opposition to many-world theories, in that they hold that a process of wavefunction collapse curtails the branching of the wavefunction and removes unobserved behaviour. Objective collapse theories differ from the Copenhagen interpretation in regarding both the wavefunction and the process of collapse as ontologically objective. The Copenhagen interpretation includes collapse, but it is non-committal about the objective reality of the wave function, and because of that it is possible to regard Copenhagen-style collapse as a subjective or informational phenomenon. In objective theories, there is an ontologically real wave of some sort corresponding to the mathematical wave function, and collapse occurs randomly ("spontaneous localization"), or when some physical threshold is reached, with observers having no special role.

Which is essentially what I said.  I will turn the question around.  Why do you think the Penrose OR Interpretation is NOT an Copenhagen derivative?

The Orch OR takes OR and adds the implication of consciousness.  TIQM  is not equivalent to Orch OR.  However, TIQM is similar the basic Penrose quantum interpretation (just "OR"), IMO.

I reskimmed through John G. Cramer's description of TIQM

It looks like the main the elements I need for the Third Choice are here.  John G. Cramer is saying quantum effects are interconnection through space and time.  DNA and microtubules can be interconnected quantum computers just as easily under TIQM as under Penrose's OR.  It looks like TIQM doesn't have a decoherence timeout like Penrose's OR.

From the link...
"The TI avoids the conceptual problems implicit in this experiment by eliminating any SV collapse which occurs at some definite instant... Instead it employs an atemporal four-space description implicit in the transaction model..."

It looks like TIQM will allow things to remain in superposition as long as necessary.

I understand Penrose's OR interpretation better.  If you want to think of things in TIQM terms, you will have to explain to me the fundamental differences you see that invalidates what I have been saying.

P.S.  Time for real life again.  I will get back later.

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 29 2007,14:26   

Quote
Which is essentially what I said.  I will turn the question around.  Why do you think the Penrose OR Interpretation is NOT an Copenhagen derivative?

The Orch OR takes OR and adds the implication of consciousness.  TIQM  is not equivalent to Orch OR.  However, TIQM is similar the basic Penrose quantum interpretation (just "OR"), IMO.

That answers my question; I don't dispute that OR is Copenhagen, but it seems to me that Copenhagen and TIQM interpret the reality of the wavefunction and the role of the observer much differently. From Cramer's page, they agree on most of the interpretations up until then (commuting observables, etc.).
   
Quote
I consider Penrose's OR to be a Copenhagen derivitative because Penrose's "Objective Reduction" serves the same purpose as Copenhagen's "Waveform Collapse" and is generally the same thing.  However, while Copenhagen left fuzzy the possibility that the waveform of an object collapsed into an actual particleform of the object. That was fine for photons and, possibly, electrons.  But for 60 atom molecules (Bucky Balls) it became too much of a stretch for getting matter from non-matter.

I don't think it's a stretch, considering that the deBroglie wavelength (the molecular mass is about 750 amu or 1.25e-24 kg) is still on the order of the size of the molecule. If the slit widths were proper, I'd expect it to exhibit interference.
   
Quote
It looks like the main the elements I need for the Third Choice are here.  John G. Cramer is saying quantum effects are interconnection through space and time.  DNA and microtubules can be interconnected quantum computers just as easily under TIQM as under Penrose's OR.  It looks like TIQM doesn't have a decoherence timeout like Penrose's OR.

If you take one step beyond Cramer's theory, and do some experiments, you know that you will get a decoherence time-out. You can fire up an NMR experiment and couple different atoms within C60 or an organic molecule; they will decohere like everything else.
   
Quote
From the link...
"The TI avoids the conceptual problems implicit in this experiment by eliminating any SV collapse which occurs at some definite instant... Instead it employs an atemporal four-space description implicit in the transaction model..."

It looks like TIQM will allow things to remain in superposition as long as necessary.

I understand Penrose's OR interpretation better.  If you want to think of things in TIQM terms, you will have to explain to me the fundamental differences you see that invalidates what I have been saying.

But we know things don't stay coherent "as long as necessary", that would pretty much invalidate NMR and statistical mechanics. It would really be interesting if they could find something analogous to quantum error correction in tubulins, I think that would seal it for me. Unfortunately, this all looks great on paper, but I'd rather see some experiments.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,08:18   

Quote (JAM @ Sep. 29 2007,20:42)
 
Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 29 2007,11:19)
Hopefully, you will understand how I might view this as an unnecessary contrivance if, in fact, life's awareness (consciousness) can be traced to quantum effects that are interconnected over time.

No one who is interested in real science would blow off massive amounts of data as an "unnecessary contrivance" when he has nothing but a house-of-cards hypothesis.

Whatever happened to "Let's do science," TP?

...I was skipping stones and I had a thought...I had to lie down.

I think he considers that changing the subject .....is an equivalent to 'real science'.

With a Smörgåsbord of Quantum Queerness to choose from the Chef is cooking the menu itself not the ingredients. He's borked a few items like Dembski however his stash includes both real and imaginary quants.

Since real life interrupted, maybe he took his own threat seriously and rode off into the sunset like said he would (cue Morricone's theme to The Good The Bad and The Ugly).

But since a quantum computer the size of a human brain could out calculate any imaginable god why is it that Deep Blue could beat Kasparov at chess? .....And since he is an owner of a massive quantum one, prevented Penrose from winning a Noble Prize?

I dunno on a scale of one to !! TP certainly eat’s shoot’s and leave's.

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,09:11   

Hi Creeky Belly,

I gave some thought into how to stimulate more interesting conversation in this thread but I am running out of ideas.

I think you and I are getting close to understanding each other's position.  If you have any more ideas for discussion, let me know.

Meanwhile, I will discuss a few loose ends.

You wrote...
Quote
But we know things don't stay coherent "as long as necessary", that would pretty much invalidate NMR and statistical mechanics.


It is my opinion that we live in a universe were if something can happen, it does.  When I was learning about Maxwell's equations I could understand, and calculate, how a collapsing magnetic field creates an electrical field and how a collapsing electrical field creates a magnetic field.  It all made sense except for one thing, how and why did it start?

This wasn't a religious "why" (at least I wasn't thinking in those terms).  This was an engineering/scientific "why".  The only answer that made sense to me was, because it can.  In the 30+ years since then, I haven't come up with a better answer.

Therefore, when you present a quantum explaination that doesn't absolutely force quick decoherence (e.g. TIQM) I am going to presume long-term decoherence can, and does, happen.  It may be rare.  It may require very special conditions.  But nature will find a way.

Did you know they discovered laser light on Mars?


Quote
It would really be interesting if they could find something analogous to quantum error correction in tubulins, I think that would seal it for me.


The RecA protein is directly involved in finding and fixing errors in DNA.  RecA protein has the same physical structure as microtubules.

Quote
Unfortunately, this all looks great on paper, but I'd rather see some experiments.


There is the
Berkeley Lab experiments we discussed previously.

There is also the experimental work behind Patel's
Quantum Algorithms and the Genetic Code. Which we have also discussed recently.

Here is an experiment ran specifically in relation to the Penrose-Hameroff hypothesis.
In recent times the interest for quantum models of brain activity has rapidly grown. The Penrose-Hameroff model assumes that microtubules inside neurons are responsible for quantum computation inside brain. Several experiments seem to indicate that EPR-like correlations are possible at the biological level. In the past year , a very intensive experimental work about this subject has been done at DiBit Labs in Milan, Italy by our research group. Our experimental set-up is made by two separated and completely shielded basins where two parts of a common human DNA neuronal culture are monitored by EEG. Our main experimental result is that, under stimulation of one culture by means of a 630 nm laser beam at 300 ms, the cross-correlation between the two cultures grows up at maximum levels. Despite at this level of understanding it is impossible to tell if the origin of this non-locality is a genuine quantum effect, our experimental data seem to strongly suggest that biological systems present non-local properties not explainable by classical models.

Experiments are being performed, they will continue to be performed.  As you know, science is a continuing process.  Even if essentially correct, the Orch OR model will be incomplete and, therefore, inaccurate.  Even if it gains acceptance, it won't be universal.  People will continue to challenge it.  Some might even suggest it is too conservative and doesn't go far enough.

I understand this is the way of science.  I suspect other ID proponents can only wish they had the amount of scientific support for their ideas as Orch OR has (meager as it is).

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,09:20   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Sep. 29 2007,13:12)
Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 29 2007,12:19)
Hopefully, you will understand how I might view this as an unnecessary contrivance if, in fact, life's awareness (consciousness) can be traced to quantum effects that are interconnected over time.

Successfully merging General Relativity with quantum physics would mean the interconnectedness spans light years (which also means it spans years).  A 500ms span is nothing by comparison.

By example, this does raise an issue you would want to address as you pursue these quantized speculations.

The notions I referred to in my above post are not contrivances: there is a great deal of research that puts meat on those bones, research that continues to elaborate our understanding of, among other things, the role of unconscious visual guidance of motor actions and the basis of motor actions in an entirely unconscious vocabulary of subcortical motor plans. This emerging neurocognitive model of visual-motor processing, and its relationship to more frontal, executive and representational (and hence conscious) processing is being developed apace, without resort to specifically quantum notions.

The point is that that quantum models such as yours are competing in a theoretical and experimental space that is already harvesting considerable gains. Your model would need to offer added value in the form of useful empirical predictions that successfully guide neurobiological research, predictions that can't be purchased within more conventional levels of modeling. Absent that guidance it is your model that is an unnecessary contrivance vis real empirical research, and needs to demonstrate real value where the rubber meets the road before being regarded as a serious contender.  

There are analogous difficulties for this stuff vis evolutionary biology, which isn't looking for, and isn't feeling in need of, a revolutionary new causal framework in order to grasp precambrian evolutionary events - sniping from outside biology notwithstanding.

[edit]: Can you point me to other instances of the 'fastball' being used in this way? I'd like to see them.

ThoPro - Before you go, I'd appreciate your thoughts on the quoted post, above.  Including my request vis the fastball.

Thanks...

RB

--------------
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

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,09:39   

Quote
Quantum Algorithms and the Genetic Code. Which we have also discussed recently.


Except 'we' didn't discuss it.

I'm not going to dig back through to see which poster raised some very large questions about that 'paper' which has all the hall marks of crank science.

AND REPEAT THE QUESTION YOU NEVER ANSWERED.

It must be nice to be you TP you have a slightly more urbane AFDAVE dreamcoat.

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,09:49   

Hi K.E.,

And good morning to you too.

You wrote...
Quote
With a Smörgåsbord of Quantum Queerness to choose from the Chef is cooking the menu itself not the ingredients. He's borked a few items like Dembski however his stash includes both real and imaginary quants.

Since real life interrupted, maybe he took his own threat seriously and rode off into the sunset like said he would (cue Morricone's theme to The Good The Bad and The Ugly).

But since a quantum computer the size of a human brain could out calculate any imaginable god why is it that Deep Blue could beat Kasparov at chess? .....And since he is an owner of a massive quantum one, prevented Penrose from winning a Noble Prize?


I can't argue too much that I have acted like an engineer in my attempt to piece together a consistent story.  The invention makes for a nice conversation piece, don't you think?

I am partial to the sunset exit scene in High Plains Drifter myself (it was foreshadowed and consistent that he disappear right before our eyes).

One might suspect you set this next point up for me, since Penrose made a big point about how Deep Blue played chess was evidence AGAINST a presumption of Strong AI.

Deep Blue can beat humans when the chess problem is algorithmic.  But when it comes to chess problem the requires noticing a non-algorithmic pattern, the average human beats Deep Blue.  Here is a link to the chess problem.

Humans can see the wall of pawns.  Humans can see that they are safe as long as the wall is intact.  Humans would know that a draw was the best they could hope for.  Humans would know not to break the wall of pawns for any reason.

Deep Blue didn't see that.

Deep Blue took the "free" rook with his pawn.

Neither Steve Hawking nor Sir Rodger Penrose have received Nobel Prizes for their work.  It appears that the Nobel Prize committee isn't impressed with non-algorithmic thinking.  Most people know Hawking and Penrose correctly figured out that Black Holes exist, but it was based on if-it-can-happen-it-does-happen mathematical modeling.  Some people automatically dismiss such things as "woo".

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,10:16   

Hi Reciprocating Bill,

You wrote...
 
Quote
Before you go, I'd appreciate your thoughts on the quoted post, above.  Including my request vis the fastball.


I'm sorry, I usually try to address comments in the order they were received.  In my confusion, I skipped over yours.  Again, sorry.

I'm not going anywhere.  I was just giving Creek Belly a heads up that I thought we were getting to a point where the arguments are becoming forced.

As for fastballs and Libet.  I just did a google search on "fastball Libet" and got a lot of good looking hits.  Try it.

I think our differences are becoming forced too.  BTW, calling me "TP" for short is fine.  I think Libet threw scientists a curve ball (pardon the pun) thirty years ago.  Think about it.  The first reaction was to deny and challenge the reality of experimental data.  Experiments were run to challenge Libet, not to support an explanation of it. Libet's results survived the challenge.  Then there was the scramble to come up with good-sounding explanations for the data that couldn't be refuted.  They come up with some.  Life is good again, books have been updated to reassure psychology students their teachers might know something.

Conservative answers are generally easier to support.  That doesn’t mean they are correct.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,10:24   

.
Quote
Some people automatically dismiss such things as "woo".


I am not some people. I always support the Dao of Woo. Dharma or the laws of the universe count out all unnecessary unnecessaryness provided you are male, over the age of 21 and speak a language all others form a arbitrary line,we will decide

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,10:40   

On a less flippant note TP.

My comment regarding Deep Blue Vs Human was more to do with scale.

You seem to be arguing that our brains are quantum computers. For that to be true the processing power available from such a device of that size would be orders of magnitude larger than Deep blue.


Have you done a power and thermal budget for your quantum brain?

Where does the energy come from, are they solar powered?

Tin Hats TP? What effect on individual electron spin in a human brain would say an NMR machine scan of the brain have on consciousness? In sleep state how does your quantum computer power down and then power back up and still remember its phone number?

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,11:03   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 30 2007,11:16)
Hi Reciprocating Bill,

You wrote...
     
Quote
Before you go, I'd appreciate your thoughts on the quoted post, above.  Including my request vis the fastball.


I'm sorry, I usually try to address comments in the order they were received.  In my confusion, I skipped over yours.  Again, sorry.

I'm not going anywhere.  I was just giving Creek Belly a heads up that I thought we were getting to a point where the arguments are becoming forced.

As for fastballs and Libet.  I just did a google search on "fastball Libet" and got a lot of good looking hits.  Try it.

I think our differences are becoming forced too.  BTW, calling me "TP" for short is fine.  I think Libet threw scientists a curve ball (pardon the pun) thirty years ago.  Think about it.  The first reaction was to deny and challenge the reality of experimental data.  Experiments were run to challenge Libet, not to support an explanation of it. Libet's results survived the challenge.  Then there was the scramble to come up with good-sounding explanations for the data that couldn't be refuted.  They come up with some.  Life is good again, books have been updated to reassure psychology students their teachers might know something.

Conservative answers are generally easier to support.  That doesn’t mean they are correct.

TP -

Your take on Libet describes ordinary self-correction in science. Everything you describe went right, so far as I can tell. Of course individual scientists often overvalue their own ideas, and upon finding themselves corrected thusly aren't happy. So the world goes 'round. But your response doesn't go to my observation that new theory needs to demonstrate added value vis empirical work, which these quantum notions have not (yet) vis cognitive processing, a sense of volition, etc., before the models with which they compete can be be declared obsolete. Declaring victory out of hand in the absence of any constructive research is one of ID's worst (and most obnoxious) habits.  

Baseball is full of "ballistic" behaviors (literally and figuratively); it provides a good illustration of the issues involved. Not surprising that it arises in many similar discussions.  I've read some of Wegner's and Bargh's work, and it likely came up there, and lodged in my brain pan. (And, 'tis the season, as October approaches and my boys are in.)

--------------
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

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,11:44   

Hi K.E.,

You wrote...
Quote
You seem to be arguing that our brains are quantum computers. For that to be true the processing power available from such a device of that size would be orders of magnitude larger than Deep blue.


Maybe you haven't understood the magnitude of woo being presented here.  This isn’t just human brains.  Microtubules are present in practically everything we think of as living.  If Hameroff is right, quantum computers in microtubules explains why life appears to be aware if its surroundings.  From this Hameroff paper (essay?)….

To gauge how single neuron functions may exceed simple input-output activities, consider the single cell organism paramecium. Such cells swim about gracefully, avoid obstacles and predators, find food and engage in sex with partner paramecia. They can also learn; if placed in capillary tubes they escape, and when placed back in the capillary tubes escape more quickly. As single cells with no synaptic connections, how do they do it? Pondering the seemingly intelligent activities of such single cell organisms, famed neuroscientist C.S. Sherrington (1957) conjectured: “of nerve there is no trace, but the cytoskeleton might serve”. If the cytoskeleton is the nervous system of protozoa, what might it do for neurons?

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,12:23   

Hi Reciprocating Bill,

You wrote...
Quote
But your response doesn't go to my observation that new theory needs to demonstrate added value vis empirical work, which these quantum notions have not (yet) vis cognitive processing, a sense of volition, etc., before the models with which they compete can be be declared obsolete. Declaring victory out of hand in the absence of any constructive research is one of ID's worst (and most obnoxious) habits.


There have been empirical experiments performed, there will be more.  The Many Worlds quantum interpretation is a metaphysical construct and, therefore, is not a scientific answer.  We have known for a long time that there is no such thing as solid matter.  E=mc^2 shows that mass IS energy.  Particles ARE wavefunctions.  General Relativity, EPR effects and GHZ states are reality, not woo.  There is no such thing as randomness, just interconnected quantum effects.  There are evolutionary advantages for life to directly use of this feature (e.g. efficient photosynthesis).  Empirical evidence shows that life is directly using quantum effects.

There are other unanswered scientific questions.  For example the "hard" question of consciousness. Hypotheses are needed.  There is only so long that we can wait for an answer to present itself.  Mercury's unexplainable orbit was an example of this.  Sometimes a paradigm shift is needed.  I suggest it already has occurred.  It has just taken us a long time for us to fully accept how illusional our macro view of reality really is.

If you haven't figured it out by now, I am not your typical ID proponent.  It might not even be appropriate to label me an ID proponent since I am a vocal critic of the ID movement.

Labels aren't important, ideas are.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,12:41   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 30 2007,13:23)
Hi Reciprocating Bill,

You wrote...
 
Quote
But your response doesn't go to my observation that new theory needs to demonstrate added value vis empirical work, which these quantum notions have not (yet) vis cognitive processing, a sense of volition, etc., before the models with which they compete can be be declared obsolete. Declaring victory out of hand in the absence of any constructive research is one of ID's worst (and most obnoxious) habits.


There have been empirical experiments performed, there will be more...

There are other unanswered scientific questions.  For example the "hard" question of consciousness. Hypotheses are needed....

I am referring to empirical investigation in the domain of neuroscience (and the issues we were discussing vis volition). There has been none working from predictions based upon quantum notions of consciousness, so it is grossly premature to declare work within the current framework obsolete - particularly given that work continues apace within that framework. Of course, quantum physics itself has had a secure mathematical and experimental foundation for decades. As you and others have discussed, it is the interpretation of quantum physics that remains at issue.

The "hard problem" is, well hard, conceptually as well as empirically - e.g. we aren't even sure what a solution to the hard problem of consciousness and the corrollary problem of Bretano's intentionality will even look like. I like Hilary Putnam's exceptionally clear thinking on the latter. Quantum speculation has been no more successful solving the hard problem than any other. The book by Strawson I referenced earlier provides an interesting snapshot into struggles with that problem.

--------------
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

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,12:55   

Quote
It is my opinion that we live in a universe were if something can happen, it does.  When I was learning about Maxwell's equations I could understand, and calculate, how a collapsing magnetic field creates an electrical field and how a collapsing electrical field creates a magnetic field.  It all made sense except for one thing, how and why did it start?

This wasn't a religious "why" (at least I wasn't thinking in those terms).  This was an engineering/scientific "why".  The only answer that made sense to me was, because it can.  In the 30+ years since then, I haven't come up with a better answer.

But you must know how it starts: you have particle annihilation, oscillating and translational charge distributions, and transitional levels in atoms. In fact, the CMB was the result of the first electrons bound to nuclei when the temperature dropped below 3000K. The origin of photons and the EM force came from the symmetry breaking of the Electroweak force. This is essentially what's been probed for the last 30 years in high energy physics. Is this the sort of answer you were looking for?
     
Quote
The RecA protein is directly involved in finding and fixing errors in DNA.  RecA protein has the same physical structure as microtubules.

That's very interesting, but it's not quantum error correction. Here are some resources from a quantum computing class I took a few years back. Here's some intro for QEC. Here's a follow up. If they were somehow able to determine that microtubules had functionality like this, it would be an interesting result. That, and seeing if enzymes really function as a shielding for decoherence in DNA.  These were the experiments I was alluding to.
     
Quote
I understand this is the way of science.  I suspect other ID proponents can only wish they had the amount of scientific support for their ideas as Orch OR has (meager as it is).

At least it's actually being settled in the lab. I'm having trouble accessing the Italian's experiment with the cultures, but I'm very interested in their setup and results. (The university is having trouble authenticating with the online journal)

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,13:49   

Hi Reciprocating Bill,

You wrote...
 
Quote
I am referring to empirical investigation in the domain of neuroscience (and the issues we were discussing vis volition).


I guess it is time to take this to the next level.

It isn't neuroscience that needs quantum mechanics as much as it is quantum mechanics that needs neuroscience.

Penrose didn't just decide to meddle in biological science on a whim.  He needed to consider biological science in order to complete his understanding of quantum physics.

E=h/t is fine for unobserved phenomon.  It explains why decohence happens quickly for macro objects and not for micro objects.  It also explains why decoherence happens in messy, noisy environments.  However, quantum mechanics has its "hard problem" too.  It is the measurement problem.  And this problem is also hard.

Some people just assume the measuring device is, somehow, interfering with the results.  That is only part of the problem.  Quantum delayed measurement experiments have delayed the choice of measurement until after all of the measuring devices have taken measurements.  The choice still influences the quantum results.

Referring back to the opening post.  The three special coins are influenced by whether heads or tails are called.  In the example I gave the callers were touching the coins when the choices were made.  So to further understand the nature of the special coins the callers intentionally close their eyes and flip the coins and don't touch them while they land and settle on the table.  The callers wait before they even choose whether they call heads or tails.  Even in this situation, the GHZ "magic" still occurs.

Consciousness causes quantum collapse

Now you might understand the rock and the hard place quantum physicists are trapped between.  The Schrödinger's cat thought experiment introduced the role of the conscious observer in an attempt to show how ridiculous the implication of the Copenhagen interpretation was.  Ridiculous or not, the Schrödinger's cat experiment is still both dead and alive.  And if Penrose is correct, the objective reality of the interconnectedness of quantum effects with consciousness collapses into the state of being really real.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,14:25   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 30 2007,14:49)
Hi Reciprocating Bill,

You wrote...
   
Quote
I am referring to empirical investigation in the domain of neuroscience (and the issues we were discussing vis volition).


I guess it is time to take this to the next level...

A very interesting next level, although one where the better part of valor (for me) is to allow those with more familiarity with the esoterica of quantum mechanics to push that discussion forward. I'll be an avid observer, and therefore will nevertheless determine the outcome of the discussion.

--------------
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

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,14:40   

Quote
Consciousness causes quantum collapse

Now you might understand the rock and the hard place quantum physicists are trapped between.  The Schrödinger's cat thought experiment introduced the role of the conscious observer in an attempt to show how ridiculous the implication of the Copenhagen interpretation was.  Ridiculous or not, the Schrödinger's cat experiment is still both dead and alive.  And if Penrose is correct, the objective reality of the interconnectedness of quantum effects with consciousness collapses into the state of being really real.

The article you think seems to raise more questions than it can answer. There was no waveform collapse until conscious beings evolved? Are detectors conscious? Why is the notion of decoherence with neighboring systems not enough?

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
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(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,15:10   

Hi Reciprocating Bill,

I will get to Creeky Belly in a moment, but I wanted to respond to this first...
 
Quote
A very interesting next level, although one where the better part of valor (for me) is to allow those with more familiarity with the esoterica of quantum mechanics to push that discussion forward. I'll be an avid observer, and therefore will nevertheless determine the outcome of the discussion.


The scary part of this is that since the subject crosses multiple scientific disciplines you might be as qualified to participate in this as anyone else,  maybe even more so since you picked up on your ability to influence by quietly observing.  Do you want to guess who Salvador Cordova suggests is the "ultimate observer"?

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,15:25   

Hi Creeky Belly,

You wrote...
Quote
The article you think seems to raise more questions than it can answer. There was no waveform collapse until conscious beings evolved? Are detectors conscious? Why is the notion of decoherence with neighboring systems not enough?


Let's take them one at a time.  Penrose offers the Waveform Collapse (he calls it Objective Reduction) has a time limit.  It will collapse regardless of whether anyone is observing or not. Schrödinger's cat is dead or alive in 10^-31 seconds whether anyone is observing or not.  Actually, the fact that the cat is a conscious observer complicates things.  This is why Penrose usually uses mechanical weights in his examples (did the weight fall or not?).

Mechanical devices are not conscious, but they have mass which influences things.  Penrose's proposed FELIX experiment uses a mechanical mirror in superposition to test his decoherence calculations.

Decoherence can result from interference from neighboring mass.  That is why Penrose-Hameroff spend the effort to explain how the microtubule structure keeps tubulin dimers isolated from neighboring systems.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,15:27   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 30 2007,16:10)
Hi Reciprocating Bill,

I will get to Creeky Belly in a moment, but I wanted to respond to this first...
   
Quote
A very interesting next level, although one where the better part of valor (for me) is to allow those with more familiarity with the esoterica of quantum mechanics to push that discussion forward. I'll be an avid observer, and therefore will nevertheless determine the outcome of the discussion.


The scary part of this is that since the subject crosses multiple scientific disciplines you might be as qualified to participate in this as anyone else,  maybe even more so since you picked up on your ability to influence by quietly observing.  Do you want to guess who Salvador Cordova suggests is the "ultimate observer"?

I'm acquainted with QM at a "Scientific American" level (and I mean the older, more substantial SciAM of the '70s and '80s), and I can Google with the best of them. Unlike DaveTard, I don't imagine that qualifies me for anything much more than dorm room bull sessions, and I'm a little old for those. But if thats what this is, I'm in.  

One point vis the relationship between quantum mechanics, consciousness, and evolution: One thing that is apparent to us all (or at least should be) is that certain arrangements and functional relations of matter/energy/message are conscious, including (but not limited to) that ongoing in some brains. Natural selection has clearly found those arrangements. I don't see that a finding that quantum effects are implicated in and necessary for consciousness (in microtubules or whatever) threatens that finding in the least. I don't see that quantum effects in consiousness place discernible obstacle before the mechanism of natural selection, or that it calls for new mechanisms in evolution.  

Thomas Nagel in "The View From Nowhere" (alas, I seem to have lost my copy) makes this point, although somewhat to reverse effect: He argues that the fact that natural selection accounts for the origination of conscious brains does NOT explain why these arrangements of matter are capable of consciousness.  I would add, nor does NS "care."

--------------
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

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,15:42   

Hi Reciprocating Bill,

See, I said you were qualified.  That was a good observation, IMO.

Once you get past the no randomness part, the rest doesn't challenge standard evolutionary thinking very much at all.  At best, it accelerates and amplifies the process.  This is why I brought up Vernanimalcula guizhouena.  You could think of it as super-charged natural selection that could allow life to be interconnected with (i.e. aware of) nearby quantum effects.  "Nearby" includes nearby in both space and time.

It isn't the label that is important, it is the idea.

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,16:04   

Quote
Decoherence can result from interference from neighboring mass.  That is why Penrose-Hameroff spend the effort to explain how the microtubule structure keeps tubulin dimers isolated from neighboring systems.

Not only mass, but thermal noise. It's not particularly evident that the microtubules can remove the thermal coupling from the dimers, when the temperature noise dominates at 300K. I'm still trying to obtain the Italian group's paper.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,18:23   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 30 2007,11:44)
Hi K.E.,

You wrote...
   
Quote
You seem to be arguing that our brains are quantum computers. For that to be true the processing power available from such a device of that size would be orders of magnitude larger than Deep blue.


Maybe you haven't understood the magnitude of woo being presented here.  This isn’t just human brains.  Microtubules are present in practically everything we think of as living.  If Hameroff is right, quantum computers in microtubules explains why life appears to be aware if its surroundings.  From this Hameroff paper (essay?)….

To gauge how single neuron functions may exceed simple input-output activities, consider the single cell organism paramecium. Such cells swim about gracefully, avoid obstacles and predators, find food and engage in sex with partner paramecia. They can also learn; if placed in capillary tubes they escape, and when placed back in the capillary tubes escape more quickly. As single cells with no synaptic connections, how do they do it? Pondering the seemingly intelligent activities of such single cell organisms, famed neuroscientist C.S. Sherrington (1957) conjectured: “of nerve there is no trace, but the cytoskeleton might serve”. If the cytoskeleton is the nervous system of protozoa, what might it do for neurons?

We did this one already. It doesn't hold up. See my previous comment here.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,19:26   

Hi qetzal,

First of all, I was talking about awareness, not learning.

Two, your article was a counter balance, it made the learning point equivocal not dead.  We are talking about single celled organisms here.  Your example is the equivalent of saying it wasn't taught to play checkers because it always loses.

Here is a 2006 reference...
Previous attempts to condition a 1-celled organism, paramecium, by either classical or instrumental procedures, have yielded equivocal results. The present experiments were designed to determine whether the use of positive reinforcement provided by DC electrical stimulation at the cathode, which had previously been shown to be attractive to paramecia, could be used to train these organisms in a discrimination learning task. The results indicate that such learning did take place.

We have all seen the kind of activity that occurs in a drop of pond water.  It is hard to watch and not question how single-celled life can do what it does.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,21:03   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 30 2007,19:26)
Hi qetzal,

First of all, I was talking about awareness, not learning.

Two, your article was a counter balance, it made the learning point equivocal not dead.  We are talking about single celled organisms here.  Your example is the equivalent of saying it wasn't taught to play checkers because it always loses.

Here is a 2006 reference...
Previous attempts to condition a 1-celled organism, paramecium, by either classical or instrumental procedures, have yielded equivocal results. The present experiments were designed to determine whether the use of positive reinforcement provided by DC electrical stimulation at the cathode, which had previously been shown to be attractive to paramecia, could be used to train these organisms in a discrimination learning task. The results indicate that such learning did take place.

We have all seen the kind of activity that occurs in a drop of pond water.  It is hard to watch and not question how single-celled life can do what it does.

Re 'two,' I disagree. My point is (and was in the previous thread) that Hameroff makes unsupportable claims. He states unequivocally that paramecia can learn. The reality is that the data is arguable AT BEST, and the specific example he cites is wrong.

When somone overstates the evidence on a claim that I CAN check, I am less likely to believe them on claims that I can't.

Re 'first of all,', awareness* is easily explained by classical mechanisms. If you choose to believe that it's really due to quantum computing by microtubules, that's up to you. But there's no need whatsoever to invoke such things to explain how protozoa behave.

*Note added in edit: I mean "awareness" as exemplified by the behavior of single-celled organisms. I don't mean to claim that human consciousness is easily explained by classical mechanisms.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,08:15   

Hi qetzal,

You wrote...
Quote
I mean "awareness" as exemplified by the behavior of single-celled organisms. I don't mean to claim that human consciousness is easily explained by classical mechanisms.


We may be finding ourselves on opposite sides of the fence from the usual ID positions.  Typical ID proponents generally consider humans special; I don't (unless the idea of the evolutionary equivalent of runaway cancer makes the cancer "special").

I don't see a clear demarcation for awareness in living organisms.  Humans are aware, chimpanzees are aware, worms are aware.  Life, in general, is aware.  Some even argue that plants are aware.

My embrace of the concept of common descent is potentially another thing that sets me apart from typical ID proponents.  If awareness is an inherited trait, what is the common ancestor that first exhibited awareness?  I suggest an animal with a pair of light-sensitive pits linked to a hormonal signaling system has inherited this awareness trait and natural selection has already begun improving its effectiveness.  The Vernanimalcula guizhouena is precambrian.

I suggest human consciousness is only the tip of the iceberg of the "hard problem".

A dispassionate analysis of the situation would suggest that the awareness trait is wide spread in living organisms on Earth and, therefore, appeared extremely early on the evolutionary tree, possibly at the Origin of Life regardless of how incredulous it seems.

It would be ironic if "Darwinists" started responding with an argument from incredulity.  :O

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,08:18   

TP here is a simple question.

What is ID?

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,08:45   

And another before I forget.

Deep Blue had some special features that made it more analogous to a human brain than a general purpose computer, what were they?

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,09:35   

Hi K.E.,

You asked...
         
Quote
What is ID?


"ID" is the abbreviation for the term "Intelligent Design".  It is a populous movement run primarily by the Discovery Institute and its fellows which includes Wells, Dembski and Behe.  It is mostly, if not entirely, religiously motivated but has attempted to present Intelligent Design as some sort of scientific concept.

The capitalization makes it a proper noun and, therefore, distinguishes it from what people would think of as "intelligent design".  The ID Movement leaders take advantage of this confusion by playing a shell game of what means what depending on the audience they are addressing.  For example, when addressing religious organizations the ID Movement leaders count on the presumption that Intelligent Design implies an Intelligent Designer which implies an Intelligent Creator which implies God.  However, when such implications would be detrimental to the movement (e.g. legal depositions), the movement leaders focus on things like innocuous questions and ID alternatives like "space aliens who seed the Earth, time travelers, and telic organizing principles in nature".

While I believe the ID movement leaders are intentionally engaging in a shell game to further their agenda that was spelled out in the Wedge document, there are ID proponents who actually and earnestly see some potential scientific value in thinking outside the status quo box.  Some of these ID proponents even disagree with the tactics employed by the ID movement leaders.  I refer to these as ID Scientists even if they, themselves, agree ID has not yet reached the threshold of being called science.

Presuming you are asking this question for the purpose of understanding my position on this...

I am a vocal critic of the ID movement.  However, I can understand and even support the ideal behind ID science.  My discussions on Telic Thoughts (this thread is a sample) hits two birds with one stone.  It forces thinking about the true motives of the ID Movement leaders since I am taking them at their word that ID isn't about religion and present a purely scientific alternative that presumes most, if not all, of their "scientific observations" and provides an realistic answer for them.

It also disarms those who claim it is unreasonable to ask ID proponents to provide a scientific hypothesis with a "pathetic level of detail" when I have provided just such an animal.

Finally, it is constructive enjoyment for me.  I like to argue.  I am a debater.  I can take either side and present realistic, non-hypocritical arguments in support.  It is constructive, because it forces me and others to research actual science.

It provokes thought on both sides of the question.

Do I believe all of this is true?  What does that matter?  I am not even a scientist by trade.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,09:48   

Hi K.E.,

You wrote...
Quote
Deep Blue had some special features that made it more analogous to a human brain than a general purpose computer, what were they?

Come in from off the sidelines and tell us.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,09:54   

Deep blue isn't a good example IMHO. It's just brute force AI / search. It doesn't "strategize" but just goes so far down the exponential tree as to see the best possible futures.

That being said, if our noggins were quantum computers, the "chess problem" would be no problem. Big search = no time. The wave function collapses and I move my pawn...

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,10:49   

Earlier TP Typed:
 
Quote
...My embrace of the concept of common descent is potentially another thing that sets me apart from typical ID proponents.


 
Quote
It is populous movement run primarily by the Discovery Institute and its fellows which includes Wells, Dembski and Behe.  It is mostly, if not entirely, religiously motivated but has attempted to present Intelligent Design as some sort of scientific concept.


 
Quote
I am a vocal critic of the ID movement


 
Quote
I can understand and even support the ideal behind ID science.


So you support Creationism in a cheap tuxedo ....but you are not sure ......then you are .....fine.

All I can say TP is I'm sorry for asking a stupid question.

I see you don't think it is a conservative culture war on anti-Strausians.

.....So fill us in, where you think Judge Jones got his facts wrong.



On Deep Blue the analog I was alluding to was the fact that practically all of the power of the system was in 480 LSI dedicated parallel concurrent chess move processing units or 'hardwired nodes'. Not unlike the human brain. That made the system highly efficient. If certain tasks are performed by dedicated processing units with unnecessary baggage then immense power can be packed into a small space.

It could be argued that the human mind's intelligence is not an actual function of processing power but the software it runs. The cleverest part of that software is that it thinks it knows what someone’s is thinking by a form of self aware mimicry (including the ability to project back to oneself the thoughts of our own ego).

We read minds, just like Rothchild did with Behe at Dover. Behe made a huge faux pas and was trapped when he speculated on the witness stand he could read the mind of god.

Talk about jumping a shark.

Culture itself is the result of human playfulness and competition.

Kasparov was convinced that the IBM team cheated on one game, when he offered up a piece he thought no machine (or its algorithms) could resist. The fact that it took 3 years before IBM released the computer move logs didn't help.

Human brains have specific functional areas that are essentially 'hardwired' special processing units, this helps divide the problem of survival into smaller parallel tasks and prevents thinking out of our ases.

The proposal you promote 'quantum consciousness' seems to me at this stage to be wishful thinking the scale is too small.

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,10:53   

Quote
The wave function collapses and I move my pawn...




--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,11:03   

Quote (k.e @ Oct. 01 2007,10:53)
Quote
The wave function collapses and I move my pawn...



I IZ IN UR BOX PROVING UR SHROEDINGER RONG.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,11:20   

Hi Richardthughes,

You wrote...
Quote
Deep blue isn't a good example IMHO. It's just brute force AI / search. It doesn't "strategize" but just goes so far down the exponential tree as to see the best possible futures.

That being said, if our noggins were quantum computers, the "chess problem" would be no problem. Big search = no time. The wave function collapses and I move my pawn...


In formalized debate circles there is a tactic called a "negative spread".  The affirmative side has the burden of forwarding a proposal.  The negative side defends the Status Quo.  The negative will generally argue the proposal's disadvantages ("It is too <fill-in-the-blank>"). For example, if the affirmative is proposing a new law, the negative could argue it is too strict compared to the status quo.  The negative could also argue it is too loose compared to the status quo (i.e. promotes anarchy).  The "negative spread" tactic is to argue every possible disadvantage in an attempt to swamp the affirmative.  This usually results in the negative arguing in opposing directions.  "Too strict" AND "Too loose"

This is an inevidable outcome of debating on forums.  You are arguing the quantum mechanical brain would be too perfect while Creek Belly is arguing the quantum mechanical brain would be too imperfect without error correction.

Did the 1993 version of Deep Blue think like a human or not?

That being said, which "chess problem" are you refering too?  Penrose suggested a "chess problem" that differentiated algorithmic thinking from type of non-algorithmic thinking possible with quantum computers.

The 1993 version of Deep Blue was purely algorithmic.  Deep Blue incorrectly moved the pawn by taking the rook.  (link)

Humans can easily see the mistake using non-algorithmic thinking.  This suggests humans have built-in access to quantum computations.

AI researchers are designing in quantum computers.  Any bets this will result in the "surprising" development of human-like behavor of AI machines?

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,11:33   

Hi K.E.,

You wrote...
 
Quote
I see you don't think it is a conservative culture war on anti-Strausians.

.....So fill us in, where you think Judge Jones got his facts wrong.

I was fascinated by the Dover case.  I thought Judge Jones' handling of the case was excellent.  Judge Jones' opinion was spot-on in my opinion.

As for fighting the Culture War.  I think my method has a better chance at being effective.  When 10% of the population circle the wagons, it just makes it that much easier for the 90% to wipe them out.

 
Quote
The proposal you promote 'quantum consciousness' seems to me at this stage to be wishful thinking the scale is too small.

I find it interesting you consider a proposal that includes three major scientific fields of study (cosmology, quantum physics and biology) and encompasses all life on Earth to be on a scale that is too small.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,11:37   

TP: I'm no expert in these things so I don't think my musing even qualify as 'arguments'. I just thought one of the many benefits of Quantum Computing was in seemingly intractable search spaces?

For example current encryption would be useless. Of course, it's entirely possible to have an endless game of chess, so I'm not sure how search / QC would deal with that...

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,12:17   

Quote
TP: I'm no expert in these things so I don't think my musing even qualify as 'arguments'. I just thought one of the many benefits of Quantum Computing was in seemingly intractable search spaces?

For example current encryption would be useless. Of course, it's entirely possible to have an endless game of chess, so I'm not sure how search / QC would deal with that...

I think you correctly understand the general advantages of quantum computing.  It is good at performing search algorithms.  This is why Patel thought of quantum computing when he realized DNA performed complicated searches.

Quantum effects are advantageous for life when it comes to photosynthesis.  Other uses of quantum effects (e.g. quantum computing) would likely provide evolutionary advantages.

As I am sure you are aware, evolution doesn't predict perfection.  It has been pointed out that once AI starts including quantum computing, Moore's law will become a significant underestimate of the future of computational power.  The science fiction scenario of thinking machines building more advanced thinking machines will become a reality.  Human thinking may become a quant legacy.

Some religious people might be seeing this and other similar scenarios.  Do you think minor issues like ethics or the sanctity of science would get in their way of trying to stop it?

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,12:28   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 01 2007,12:17)
Quote
TP: I'm no expert in these things so I don't think my musing even qualify as 'arguments'. I just thought one of the many benefits of Quantum Computing was in seemingly intractable search spaces?

For example current encryption would be useless. Of course, it's entirely possible to have an endless game of chess, so I'm not sure how search / QC would deal with that...

I think you correctly understand the general advantages of quantum computing.  It is good at performing search algorithms.  This is why Patel thought of quantum computing when he realized DNA performed complicated searches.

Quantum effects are advantageous for life when it comes to photosynthesis.  Other uses of quantum effects (e.g. quantum computing) would likely provide evolutionary advantages.

As I am sure you are aware, evolution doesn't predict perfection.  It has been pointed out that once AI starts including quantum computing, Moore's law will become a significant underestimate of the future of computational power.  The science fiction scenario of thinking machines building more advanced thinking machines will become a reality.  Human thinking may become a quant legacy.

Some religious people might be seeing this and other similar scenarios.  Do you think minor issues like ethics or the sanctity of science would get in their way in trying to stop it?

Ahhh, the singularity!

I've been following this idea for some time. Are you an extropian / transhumanist? Its almost become a cult - Techno rapture and all that. That being said, I think there's something to it.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,12:42   

Hi Richardthughes,

You asked...
Quote
Are you an extropian / transhumanist?


I really don't go for labels.  Accepting a label significantly increases your susceptibility to Group Think, IMO.

Labels aren't important, ideas are.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,13:09   

Hmm. It's the labels "science", "creationism" etc that stop ID being taught, so I'm not sure I completely agree.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,16:01   

Quote
This is an inevidable outcome of debating on forums.  You are arguing the quantum mechanical brain would be too perfect while Creek Belly is arguing the quantum mechanical brain would be too imperfect without error correction

I'm arguing that a practical quantum mechanical brain would have to deal with error correction; essentially any quantum computing requires some notion of  fault tolerance. In the case of the quantum search algorithm (Grover's), there's only a notion of binary choice, instead of weighted choice (like Heuristic search algorithms). If you wanted to look at the search space of all chess games, that would require 10e134 or 445 qubits. Even the first 6 moves would require a bandwidth of 30 qubits. In some sense, it's impractical to keep that many qubits entangled at the temperature domains "human" quantum computers would typically be embedded. With thermal noise, the pure state would almost immediately decohere into a mixed state, and I haven't seen much evidence that this isn't the case for a large scale quantum computer. It's more likely that we take a non-algorithmic short-cut based on a Bayesian analysis (using priors) than following a strict needle in the haystack approach.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,16:04   

Quote (creeky belly @ Oct. 01 2007,16:01)
If you wanted to look at the search space of all chess games, that would require 10e134 or 445 qubits.

Are you sure the problem is bound / finite?

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,16:12   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 01 2007,08:15)
Hi qetzal,

You wrote...
     
Quote
I mean "awareness" as exemplified by the behavior of single-celled organisms. I don't mean to claim that human consciousness is easily explained by classical mechanisms.


We may be finding ourselves on opposite sides of the fence from the usual ID positions.  Typical ID proponents generally consider humans special; I don't (unless the idea of the evolutionary equivalent of runaway cancer makes the cancer "special").

I don't see a clear demarcation for awareness in living organisms.  Humans are aware, chimpanzees are aware, worms are aware.  Life, in general, is aware.  Some even argue that plants are aware.

My embrace of the concept of common descent is potentially another thing that sets me apart from typical ID proponents.  If awareness is an inherited trait, what is the common ancestor that first exhibited awareness?  I suggest an animal with a pair of light-sensitive pits linked to a hormonal signaling system has inherited this awareness trait and natural selection has already begun improving its effectiveness.  The Vernanimalcula guizhouena is precambrian.

I suggest human consciousness is only the tip of the iceberg of the "hard problem".

A dispassionate analysis of the situation would suggest that the awareness trait is wide spread in living organisms on Earth and, therefore, appeared extremely early on the evolutionary tree, possibly at the Origin of Life regardless of how incredulous it seems.

It would be ironic if "Darwinists" started responding with an argument from incredulity.  :O

I agree with much of this. Based on your examples, I think we agree that being aware can mean something as simple as being able to sense the environment and react accordingly, yes?

I'm not at all incredulous about the first organisms having basic awareness in this sense. In fact, they almost certainly did have it, or they would not have survived.

Still, I'll repeat that there's no need to invoke quantum computing to explain awareness at that level. Simple classical mechansims involving sensor circuits and motor circuits connected by positive and negative feedback loops can reproduce behaviors consistent with basic awareness.

As I recall, some pretty interesting "behaviors" have been generated with entirely mechanical/electrical circuits in simple robots. I'll try to find some links if I can. You could also look at how some flagellated bacteria use a combination of tumbling and straight line swimming to move up or down chemical gradients. These kinds of behaviors do not require any quantum computational explanations.

Regarding human consciousness, I wasn't trying to advocate a clear demarcation versus more basic awareness in 'simpler' organisms. I don't consider humans special either. I was merely acknowledging that we don't know enough about consciousness to explain it yet.

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,16:15   

Quote
Are you sure the problem is bound / finite?

If you constrain it to "perfect" chess, which is reasonable for computers like DEEP BLUE, games don't typically last more than 50-60 moves.

  
JAM



Posts: 517
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,17:46   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Sep. 30 2007,11:44)
Hi K.E.,

You wrote...
   
Quote
You seem to be arguing that our brains are quantum computers. For that to be true the processing power available from such a device of that size would be orders of magnitude larger than Deep blue.


Maybe you haven't understood the magnitude of woo being presented here.  This isn’t just human brains.  Microtubules are present in practically everything we think of as living.  If Hameroff is right, quantum computers in microtubules explains why life appears to be aware if its surroundings.  From this Hameroff paper (essay?)….

To gauge how single neuron functions may exceed simple input-output activities, consider the single cell organism paramecium. Such cells swim about gracefully, avoid obstacles and predators, find food and engage in sex with partner paramecia. They can also learn; if placed in capillary tubes they escape, and when placed back in the capillary tubes escape more quickly. As single cells with no synaptic connections, how do they do it? Pondering the seemingly intelligent activities of such single cell organisms, famed neuroscientist C.S. Sherrington (1957) conjectured: “of nerve there is no trace, but the cytoskeleton might serve”. If the cytoskeleton is the nervous system of protozoa, what might it do for neurons?

TP,

I suggest that you update your knowledge from 1957 speculations. IIRC, the nervous system of Paramecium works very analogously, but more simply, than the "nervous system" of an individual neuron--by membrane depolarization.

When a Paramecium bumps into something, the bump causes a calcium ion influx via mechanosensitive channels. Increased calcium causes a reversal of direction of ciliary beating, primarily through cyclic nucleotides and protein phosphorylation.

AFAIK, there's no evidence that microtubules, despite conferring rigidity to the cilia, play any computational role in integrating stimuli; the same goes for neurons.

You're pretending that the sophistication of quantum mechanics somehow cancels out the sophomoric reductionism of the neurobiological hypothesis.

There is, however, a lot of mechanistic data demonstrating the far greater importance of the actin cytoskeleton in neuronal plasticity, like this:

http://jcs.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/120/2/205

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,19:25   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 01 2007,12:20)
The 1993 version of Deep Blue was purely algorithmic.  Deep Blue incorrectly moved the pawn by taking the rook.  (link)

Humans can easily see the mistake using non-algorithmic thinking.  This suggests humans have built-in access to quantum computations.

That is a huge leap. One need not to look as far as quantum computing to find an alternative to the algorithmic computational styles of deep blue and deep thought (the latter was massively parallel, but used that parallelism to increase the execution speed/search depth of an essentially algorithmic process). Much nearer to hand are neural net models of computation, which are non-algorithmic in nature and much more resemble the modularized and net-like computational powers of the human brain. After all, human cognition ultimately emerges from neural firing, which has a speed limit of something like 4000 potentials per second (very slow relative to silicon), but compensates with massive parallelism, with the average cortical neuron in association centers being synapsed upon by thousands of other neurons. This enables neural-net and analog processes of great power to emerge from an astronomical number of interactions (excitatory and inhibitory, with all sorts of feedback loops) - not to mention the additional power that may be derived from the internal complexity of neurons with their secondary messengers, the capacity to turn on genes based upon activity, and so on.  We have yet to determine how many fathoms deep these processes go, nor the limits of such a distributed computational system. The human capacity to solve wholistic problems such as above may emerge from this neural-net architecture, sans any dependence upon quantum phenomena.

--------------
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

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,20:11   

TP
Quote
Quote

The proposal you promote 'quantum consciousness' seems to me at this stage to be wishful thinking the scale is too small.


I find it interesting you consider a proposal that includes three major scientific fields of study (cosmology, quantum physics and biology) and encompasses all life on Earth to be on a scale that is too small.


Let’s go back to mind reading for a moment.

When someone proposes an alternative to current understanding it may surprise you that their motive will be questioned.

Why is that? We do it to test for cheaters. Science works on trust I'm sure you will remember a certain South Korean cloner not long ago.

If the cheater test was not applied then that field of science could degrade to the level of human interaction expected in say theology or second hand car sales ie zero thruth and trust.

That's why I asked myself 'What's in this for TP and where is this going?'.
It then turns out TP has, shall we say, eclectic  tastes and seems to think TP's Version of ID© is valid.

Now TP's Version of ID© needs an actual material vehicle and what could be better for ID pseudoscience than  bona fide pseudoquantum science.

On the question of scale to me explaining the operation of a set of gears by the function of atomic bonds in the steel the gears are made from, is redundant to explaining the rotation and function of said gears. Or the operation of the hand by discussing the origin of calcium in bones.

Interesting but probably a diversion considering the history of the supporters.

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,22:47   

Hi all,

I am encouraged by most of the responses.  SteveStory came to Telic Thoughts looking for something more substantial than the usual YEC "cotton candy" (his term).

I suggest what I offered meets that description.

I am not going to be able to prove this Third Choice hypothesis is a better explaination than the Status Quo.  I don't have the training to do so.  Dr. Hameroff could offer a better defense of his theory than I.  For example, Dr. Hameroff explains what he sees as the role of actin and dendrites in papers (essays?) like this one.

My ability to cut through the medical babble to think in laymans terms is limited.  So when Dr. Hameroff says...

Actin is the main component of dendritic spines and also exists throughout the rest of the neuronal interior in various forms depending on actin-binding proteins, calcium etc. When actin polymerizes into a dense meshwork, the cell interior converts from an aqueous solution (sol state) to a quasi-solid, gelatinous (gel) state. In the gel state, actin, MTs and other cytoskeletal structures form a negatively-charged matrix on which polar cell water molecules are bound and ordered (Pollack 2001). Glutamate binding to NMDA and AMPA receptors triggers gel states in actin spines (Fischer et al 2000).

Neuronal MTs self-assemble, and with cooperation of actin enable growth of axons and dendrites. Motor proteins transport materials along MTs to maintain and regulate synapses. The direction and guidance of motor proteins and synaptic components (e.g. from cell body through branching dendrites) depends on conformational states of MT subunits (Krebs et al 2004). Thus MTs are not merely passive tracks but appear to actively guide transport. Among neuronal cytoskeletal components, MTs are the most stable and appear best suited for information processing Wherever cellular organization and intelligence are required, MTs are present and involved.


and Creeky Belly provides a link to a paper (essay?) that says....
Recent work has shown that other actin regulators might modulate the activity of RhoA and thus its effect on spine actin. Ryan et al. showed that the Rho GEF Lcf interacts with the actin-binding protein spinophilin (Ryan et al., 2005). Spinophilin is localized to actin filaments by its actin-binding domain and has crosslinking activities (Grossman et al., 2002; Satoh et al., 1998). The affinity of spinophilin for F-actin is regulated by phosphorylation of the actin-binding domain, which can be mediated by PKA and CaMKII (Grossman et al., 2004; Hsieh-Wilson et al., 2003). In neurons, Ca2+-dependent phosphorylation by CaMKII reduces the affinity of spinophilin for actin and targets the protein to synaptic membrane fractions (Grossman et al., 2004). Expression studies in hippocampal neurons showed that Lcf localizes to the cell body and the dendritic shaft, where it associates with microtubules.

It is going to take a lot of effort on my part to understand the fundamental differences between the two.

I have explained my reasoning for why, from a top-level view, the Third Choice sounds feasible.  It has backing of true scientists that I feel are ethically and honestly presenting ideas.

Sir Rodger Penrose agrees that he may very well be wrong about biological sources for consciousness.  He is much more convinced of his physics and mathematics.  His quantum interpretation, like his model for Black Holes, is too complete and consistent with reality to be easily dismissed.  His mathematical proof against Strong AI is solid (after a minor adjustment that was compelled by peer review).

The logical implication of Penrose's understanding is that awareness/consciousness is directly tied to quantum effects.  Call it a prediction.  Has this prediction been verified yet?  No, but Dr. Hameroff offers his opinion on reasons for optimism.

I find all this interesting and it provides fuel for debates in blogs and forums.  I am not suggesting this should be taught in public schools.  At least not yet.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,23:07   

Hi K.E.
You wrote...
 
Quote
When someone proposes an alternative to current understanding it may surprise you that their motive will be questioned.

It didn't surprise me in the least.  Either at Telic Thoughts or here.  The humorous part is that both sides question my motives even as I tell both sides the same thing, which I think is correct to the best of my ability to know myself.  
Here is a recent comment of mine on Telic Thoughts.

 
Quote
That's why I asked myself 'What's in this for TP and where is this going?'.
It then turns out TP has, shall we say, eclectic  tastes and seems to think TP's Version of ID© is valid.

Now TP's Version of ID© needs an actual material vehicle and what could be better for ID pseudoscience than  bona fide pseudoquantum science.

On the question of scale to me explaining the operation of a set of gears by the function of atomic bonds in the steel the gears are made from, is redundant to explaining the rotation and function of said gears. Or the operation of the hand by discussing the origin of calcium in bones.

Interesting but probably a diversion considering the history of the supporters.

First, I wouldn't say I think "TP's Version of ID© is valid".  That comes too close to calling it the Truth for my NOMA tastes.  I don't know the Truth, do you?

Second, a lack of a mechanistic model has made for arguing against ID like the proverbial nailing jello to a wall.  My offer of a mechanistic model tends to force ID proponents into accepting it as ID science or to rationalize why its lack of specific support for an Intelligent Designer disqualifies it.

  
JAM



Posts: 517
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 02 2007,01:27   

Quote (Thought Provoker @ Oct. 01 2007,22:47)
Hi all,

For example, Dr. Hameroff explains what he sees as the role of actin and dendrites in papers (essays?) like this one.

My ability to cut through the medical babble to think in laymans terms is limited.

This is not medical babble, it is biological babble. At least we agree that it is babble!

 
Quote
So when Dr. Hameroff says...

...When actin polymerizes into a dense meshwork, the cell interior converts from an aqueous solution (sol state) to a quasi-solid, gelatinous (gel) state.

I think that he doesn't know what he is talking about, as I don't know of any cells in which the cell interior converts from a sol to a gel state. In every cell I do know about, this conversion is going in different directions in different parts of the same cell--even opposite ends of the same filament.

Hameroff is babbling, TP.

 
Quote
In the gel state, actin, MTs and other cytoskeletal structures form a negatively-charged matrix on which polar cell water molecules are bound and ordered (Pollack 2001). Glutamate binding to NMDA and AMPA receptors triggers gel states in actin spines (Fischer et al 2000).

They are dendritic spines, not actin spines, and what happens is at least 10x more complicated than that. That's why it's so ridiculous to pretend that consciousness boils down to MTs, with or without quantum mechanics.
 
Quote
Neuronal MTs self-assemble,...

Twaddle. All MTs do.
 
Quote
... and with cooperation of actin enable growth of axons and dendrites. Motor proteins transport materials along MTs to maintain and regulate synapses. The direction and guidance of motor proteins and synaptic components (e.g. from cell body through branching dendrites) depends on conformational states of MT subunits (Krebs et al 2004).

This is incredibly misleading, because it depends on much more than that. Do you realize that when we look at individual vesicles, they go back and forth from MTs to actin in real time?
Quote
Thus MTs are not merely passive tracks but appear to actively guide transport. Among neuronal cytoskeletal components, MTs are the most stable and appear best suited for information processing Wherever cellular organization and intelligence are required, MTs are present and involved.</b>

Gee, TP, do you realize how ridiculous this is? Take a wild-assed guess as to where in the neuron MTs [b]are not present!
 
Quote
It is going to take a lot of effort on my part to understand the fundamental differences between the two.

Then perhaps you should do so before becoming so enthusiastic about MTs.
 
Quote
The logical implication of Penrose's understanding is that awareness/consciousness is directly tied to quantum effects.  Call it a prediction.

Erm...no, that's a hypothesis, not a prediction. You're quacking just like Bradford, TP.

  
Thought Provoker



Posts: 530
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 02 2007,07:28   

Hi JAM,

Dr. Hameroff is...
Professor Emeritus, Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology,
Director, Center for Consciousness Studies
The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

This has been is the focus of his professional life.  He is 60 years old.  He is joined by other professionals like Scott Hagan, Jack Tuszynski and Nancy J. Woolf in his hypothesis concerning the role of microtubules for consciousness.

As an engineer, I approach this pretty as Penrose did as a physicist.  It makes too much sense to see consciousness connected to quantum effects.

Why should I accept your "trust me" bombastic babble when Dr. Hameroff takes the time to try and explain it in layman's terms?

Even Max Tegmark explains his objections in layman's terms.

You have made your counter argument.  I will continue my affirmative argument.  We can let the debate judges decide for themselves.