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Quantum life: The weirdness inside us
NewScientist ^ | October 6, 2011 | Michael Brooks

Posted on 10/08/2011 11:36:11 AM PDT by Reeses

Ever felt a little incoherent? Or maybe you've been in two minds about something, or even in a bit of delicate state. Well, here's your excuse: perhaps you are in thrall to the strange rules of quantum mechanics.

We tend to think that the interaction between quantum physics and biology stops with Schrödinger's cat. Not that Erwin Schrödinger intended his unfortunate feline - suspended thanks to quantum rules in a simultaneous state of being both dead and alive - to be anything more than a metaphor. Indeed, when he wrote his 1944 book What is Life?, he speculated that living organisms would do everything they could to block out the fuzziness of quantum physics.

(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...


TOPICS: Science; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: faithandphilosophy; quantum; stringtheory
Ideas from the stranger side of physics could explain some long-standing mysteries of biology

NewScientist is a non-peer-reviewed international science magazine covering recent developments in science and technology for a general audience.

1 posted on 10/08/2011 11:36:15 AM PDT by Reeses
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To: Reeses

hence, if Obama wrecks the economy, does does anybody care?


2 posted on 10/08/2011 11:49:31 AM PDT by dps.inspect (the system is rigged...)
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To: Reeses

Even without the proposal in the article that the sense of smell may require quantum mechanical explanations, it’s clear that certain neuron firings (in the retina) can be triggered by single quantum mechanical events.

Of course Roger Penrose is convinced consciousness depends on quantum mechanical (and maybe even quantum gravitational) phenomena. But then again, his argument rests on his purported proof that strong AI (the proposition that the computational capacity of the human mind is equivalent to that of a general purpose Turing machine) is false. His argument actually proves that strong AI and mathematical Platonism are incompatible positions, and thus only convinces mathematical Platonists that strong AI is false.


3 posted on 10/08/2011 11:52:05 AM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: Reeses
the cat theory is bullsh!t... it is either alive or dead the observer simply doesn't know which till they open the box

same/same if you are in a coma, wake up in a dark room and don't know if it's day or night... it is what it is, whether you know it or not

4 posted on 10/08/2011 12:08:39 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Reeses
Some people ascribe to the (St.) Pauli Exclusion Principle:


5 posted on 10/08/2011 12:08:58 PM PDT by mikrofon ("Accept No Other")
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To: Reeses

Here’s a great excuse for why the Leftists are so whacked out!


6 posted on 10/08/2011 12:11:16 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: The_Reader_David
The evidence is collecting that our brains are much more than chemical/electronic computers. Our brains might make use of quantum entanglement and be influenced by subatomic interactions outside the knowable universe. It's useful to be reminded the mystery of life is still very much a mystery.

There was a recent experiment that teased subatomic particles out of empty space. Everywhere bits of matter constantly pop in and out of our universe. Where they go when they are not here is totally unknown, maybe unknowable. We do not have much figured out.

Our vanity in modern times is not justified. Vanity is an evil that leads to envy, hate, theft, murder, war, and voting Democrat. Humility is a virtue and should be cultivated. Magazine articles like this are useful reminders.

7 posted on 10/08/2011 12:44:51 PM PDT by Reeses
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To: Reeses

Yes, the influence is actually coming from the other deminsion where angels and demons influence the minds of people. If we could suddenly see the spirit world which exits all around us, we would be in shock!


8 posted on 10/08/2011 12:50:36 PM PDT by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo with laughter")
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To: Chode
the cat theory is bullsh!t... it is either alive or dead the observer simply doesn't know which till they open the box

Expansion on Schrödinger's cat: inside the box, if a quantum event occurs, it breaks a vial of cyanide which would kill the cat. If the scientist observer opens the box in a sealed room, there's enough cyanide to kill him too.

Question: is the initial scientist observer simultaneously dead and alive until an observer outside the room sees him? Is EVERYTHING in a dual quantum state from the viewpoint of whatever observer has not seen the event yet?

9 posted on 10/08/2011 1:00:28 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (When you've only heard lies your entire life, the truth sounds insane.)
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To: PapaBear3625
thank you...
10 posted on 10/08/2011 1:12:43 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode

Your right the cat theory is BS. But I have wondered a few times about each human being...we are made up of billions of life forms, both inside and outside our bodies...Microscopic but alive...when we die, a whole universe dies with us....any comments????


11 posted on 10/08/2011 3:18:28 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: goat granny

...so...like...our entire universe could be a tiny atom in a giant’s finger nail...that means my finger nail could contain...


12 posted on 10/08/2011 3:33:07 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear (No More RINOs!!!)
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To: goat granny
i never thought of it that way, but yes a small universe does die with each us... but i believe we go on to a better place
13 posted on 10/08/2011 4:00:25 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode

We are not the body’s we reside in, but hopefully there are better places we go to....:O)


14 posted on 10/08/2011 4:13:02 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: goat granny
Amen...
15 posted on 10/08/2011 4:33:06 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: mikrofon
Speaking of St.Pauli, you *ASKED* for this one:

"We don't serve your kind here, get OUT!" the bartender snarled.

A faster-than-light neutrino walks into a bar...

*I* saw her first!

Cheers!

16 posted on 10/08/2011 8:10:48 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Chode
Here's the REAL kicker, and NOBODY has been able to answer it yet.

Did Schrödinger ever have to change his kitty litter?

Cheers!

17 posted on 10/08/2011 8:12:27 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: The_Reader_David
I haven't yet taken the time to read Penrose, though I ought to.

Can you give me a link to a proof of your final sentence, about mathematical Platonists being convinced that strong AI is false?

Cheers!

18 posted on 10/08/2011 8:16:26 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

If he observed it, he did.


19 posted on 10/08/2011 8:26:38 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: SunkenCiv

Ping


20 posted on 10/08/2011 8:32:26 PM PDT by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
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To: Grizzled Bear

Horton heard a Who.


21 posted on 10/08/2011 8:41:23 PM PDT by Studebaker Hawk (These geeks are a dime-a-dozen. I'm looking for the man with the dimes. Freddy Blassy)
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To: grey_whiskers
Just read an article about the *supposed* discovery of FTL neutrinos, now back to the St. Pauli Girl............ :^)
22 posted on 10/08/2011 8:50:00 PM PDT by The Cajun (Palin, Free Republic, Mark Levin, Rush, Hannity......Nuff said.)
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To: grey_whiskers
only if the cat's alive
23 posted on 10/08/2011 9:05:23 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Reeses
One is that it is simply a wonder of evolution. Scholes thinks that proteins around algae's light-harvesting equipment might have evolved structures that shield disturbances from the environment and so allow processes within to exploit the magic of quantum physics to give them a selective advantage. Vedral thinks something similar, although why and how nature would do this, he says, is "completely unclear".

Turin shrugs his shoulders, too. "Life's 4 billion years of nanoscale R&D will have engineered many miracles," he says.

Quite.

Just completed reading David Berlinski's The Devil's Delusion. Highly recommended.

I've long suspected quantum effects will end up at the heart of many complicated life processes, rattling the orthodoxy of those who practice the Science faith and making its self-styled Moderns look as primitive as physicians of the early 14th century.

Fact is, they haven't a clue, though their questioning their underlying beliefs is the last thing they seem prepared to do.

Thanks for the post!

24 posted on 10/08/2011 9:19:45 PM PDT by Prospero
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To: grey_whiskers
I'm afraid I can't give you a link for that, because it's my own observation about what Penrose actually shows with the argument he give in The Emperor's New Mind. Basically his argument goes, Goedel proved Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem, and gave a proof which proves it for any formal system of a sort later shown to be equivalent to a universal Turing machine. Thus, were Goedel (or more generally human reasoning capacity) equivalent to a universal Turing machine, Goedel would have proved his own "Goedel statement", which is absurd. Thus Goedel (and human reasoning capability) is not equivalent to a universal Turing machine (and indeed is superior to a universal Turing machine).

The flaw in the argument, if one is not a mathematical Platonist (esp. if one is a constructivist, which is the position all the harsh critics of Penrose who want to believe strong AI argue from) is that Goedel can't constructively identify his own Goedel statement, even though his construction applied in a universal quantifier over all systems equivalent to a universal Turing machine includes as an instance the construction of his own Goedel statement, and thus has not actually proved it (constructively). (And, the believer in strong AI adds, and can't because he's a Turing machine.) A mathematical Platonist is obliged to accept the proof running through the universal quantifier since it applied to the "form" of a universal Turing machine, thus giving the contradiction to strong AI Penrose asserts.

I've discussed the matter with constructivists and philosophers as well as classical mathematicians, and they agreed with my take on what Penrose actually showed by his argument. (Which matters a little bit, since it's a philosophical, rather than a mathematical argument.)

25 posted on 10/09/2011 1:12:00 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: Captain Beyond; AdmSmith; bvw; callisto; ckilmer; dandelion; ganeshpuri89; gobucks; KevinDavis; ...

Thanks Captain Beyond.


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26 posted on 10/09/2011 5:51:52 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Reeses

Swell thread.Thanks for posting.


27 posted on 10/09/2011 6:16:52 PM PDT by onedoug (If)
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To: Reeses

virtual particle ping


28 posted on 10/09/2011 6:53:50 PM PDT by samtheman (Palin. In your heart you know she's right.)
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To: mikrofon

“Some people ascribe to the (St.) Pauli Exclusion Principle:”

The last time I drank one of those, I met my husband so please expound on this one!


29 posted on 10/09/2011 7:04:59 PM PDT by Domestic Church (AMDG)
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To: Domestic Church

The Pauli exclusion principle is the quantum mechanical principle that no two identical fermions (particles with half-integer spin) may occupy the same quantum state simultaneously.

The St. Pauli exclusion principle is the qualitative principle that no two fermented beverages may occupy the same space unless they are both St. Pauli Girl....


30 posted on 10/09/2011 7:19:48 PM PDT by mikrofon (Happy Oktoberfest)
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To: mikrofon

Thanks!So the Pauli exclusion principle - did I learn this in college and forget it instantly or what,lol - So the negative Pauli hangs out alone while the Boson likes all sorts of neutral or positive company.

I think we broke the St.Pauli exclusion right off the bat as he had a large can of Fosters but he did continue to buy me St. Pauli Girls that evening.


31 posted on 10/09/2011 8:30:38 PM PDT by Domestic Church (AMDG)
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