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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Consciousness at the Planck Scale?
    #3041919 - 08/23/04 10:40 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)

=================================
Summary:

In medical school I became interested in how the brain produced consciousness, and thought I'd go into a specialty like neurology or psychiatry. But in 1975 the Chairman of Anesthesiology at the University of Arizona - a renaissance clinician/scientist named Burnell Brown - suggested that to understand consciousness I should study how general anesthetics work. Anesthesia is a tangible physical process acting on an otherwise unmeasurable phenomenon, and the mechanism was, and still is, largely unknown...

The gas anesthetics are the most interesting because they work by very weak, purely physical, quantum-mechanical interactions. They don't form chemical or ionic bonds of any kind, they're not polar molecules, they don't bind to receptors and they can be inert...

But in the 1980's it was realized that anesthetics work directly on proteins which account for the dynamic actions of membranes, for example protein receptors and ion channels. Within proteins are specific tiny pockets that are lipid-like and it turned out that anesthetic gas molecules were sucked into these little pockets. Once there, the anesthetic molecules didn't form chemical bonds like other drugs, but bound only by very weak quantum forces known as van der Waals London forces. One or two anesthetic molecules per protein were enough to do the trick. The question is, why would such very, very weak quantum mechanical forces in such tiny regions of certain proteins have such profound effects? The answer seems to be that proteins normally dance back and forth between different forms and shapes to perform their functions and what controls the dancing are quantum mechanical forces in these pockets - the pockets are like the tiny brain within each protein. What choreographs them all together is quantum coherence. It seems that brain proteins dance synchronously due to coherence among quantum actions in the pockets throughout wide regions of the brain. So by forming their own quantum interactions in the pockets, anesthetics inhibit normally occurring quantum mechanical forces necessary for consciousness.

End Summary
========================================



Morality at the Planck Scale: A Chat with Stuart Hameroff

Metanexus: Views. 2002.12.13. 2898 words
"Assume consciousness is indeed occurring at the level of fundamental spacetime geometry at the Planck scale," says Stuart Hameroff, Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and of Psychology at the University of Arizona, "connected to our brains by quantum processes in microtubules. Then if the brain stops working the quantum information at the Planck scale could persist and remain coherent because of quantum entanglement, leaking out into spacetime geometry outside the head. It's possible that the soul could be a particular distributed pattern in fundamental spacetime geometry at the Planck scale."

Now, this, if true, could create interesting problems and possibilities. Consider a future debate in medical ethics about brain death occurring at the quantum level, for instance. Or the notions of personal responsibility, as Hameroff notes:

"Either evil is implicit at the Planck scale along with good, or evil people are wired differently biologically for whatever reason and are influenced in an aberrant way. But even so-called good people must allow themselves to be influenced by Platonic values rather than ignoring or over-riding them due to some needs or gratification."

Today's interview is part of an ongoing discussion with serious thinkers about life, the universe, and everything conducted by New York based writer and editor Jill Neimark. Previous interviewees include physicists Chris Isham, Antony Valentini and Marcelo Gleiser--Metanexus: Views: 2002.11.01, 2002.10.18, and 2002.07.12 respectively, cosmologist Lee Smolin--Metanexus: Views, 2001.12.24; theoretical biologist Stuart Kauffman--Metanexus: Views, 2002.02.18; Catholic theologian Mariano Artigas--Metanexus: Views, 2002.04.29; and philosopher of science Sherrilyn Roush--Metanexus: Views, 2002.05.03.

-Stacey E. Ake




Subject: Good and Evil at the Planck Scale: An Interview with Stuart Hameroff From: Jill Neimark Email: <hameroff@u.arizona.edu>

Stuart R. Hameroff M.D. is Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and of Psychology, and Associate Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He divides his time between clinical practice and teaching of anesthesiology in the surgical operating rooms at University of Arizona Medical Center, and research into the mechanism of consciousness.

Q: You're an anesthesiologist who's exploring the frontiers of consciousness research. What are the links between the two?

A: In medical school I became interested in how the brain produced consciousness, and thought I'd go into a specialty like neurology or psychiatry. But in 1975 the Chairman of Anesthesiology at the University of Arizona - a renaissance clinician/scientist named Burnell Brown - suggested that to understand consciousness I should study how general anesthetics work. Anesthesia is a tangible physical process acting on an otherwise unmeasurable phenomenon, and the mechanism was, and still is, largely unknown. Anesthesia is powerful but subtle. The right amount of anesthesia erases consciousness while other brain functions continue. The gas anesthetics are the most interesting because they work by very weak, purely physical, quantum-mechanical interactions. They don't form chemical or ionic bonds of any kind, they're not polar molecules, they don't bind to receptors and they can be inert. For example the inert gas xenon is an anesthetic. Anesthetics are very soluble in lipid environments, and in fact their potency directly correlates with their lipid solubility. So for many years it was assumed that since neural membranes are mostly lipids, gas anesthetics worked by getting into lipid portions of neural membranes and impairing their function. But in the 1980's it was realized that anesthetics work directly on proteins which account for the dynamic actions of membranes, for example protein receptors and ion channels. Within proteins are specific tiny pockets that are lipid-like and it turned out that anesthetic gas molecules were sucked into these little pockets. Once there, the anesthetic molecules didn't form chemical bonds like other drugs, but bound only by very weak quantum forces known as van der Waals London forces. One or two anesthetic molecules per protein were enough to do the trick. The question is, why would such very, very weak quantum mechanical forces in such tiny regions of certain proteins have such profound effects? The answer seems to be that proteins normally dance back and forth between different forms and shapes to perform their functions and what controls the dancing are quantum mechanical forces in these pockets - the pockets are like the tiny brain within each protein. What choreographs them all together is quantum coherence. It seems that brain proteins dance synchronously due to coherence among quantum actions in the pockets throughout wide regions of the brain. So by forming their own quantum interactions in the pockets, anesthetics inhibit normally occurring quantum mechanical forces necessary for consciousness.

Q: You speculate that there has to be a certain biological complexity in order to actually give rise to genuine consciousness. If I recall correctly, you suggest that consciousness probably arises once we get to the evolutionary complexity of a nematode worm. That sounds like emergence to me, although your view of emergence is richer and more complex than a simple brain-as-neuronal-network paradigm.

A: The standard answer to how we get consciousness is definitely emergence, the idea that sufficiently complex computation among the brain's neurons produces consciousness. The basic idea that a critical level of complexity in a hierarchical system gives rise to new novel properties is important in nature, for example wetness out of water, and hurricanes out of dust and gas molecules. A candle flame is an emergent phenomenon - emergence is real. But on the other hand none of these recognized emergent phenomena are conscious, though there are equations which predict the onset of their emergence. There's no equation or prediction for how many neurons interacting in any particular way will produce consciousness. Artificial intelligence people would like there to be such an equation so that sufficiently complex computers can be conscious, but there isn't. Just saying consciousness emerges from complexity is like waving a magic wand and trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat. Emergence may be part of the story but I think consciousness must be related to something irreducible, or fundamental.

Q: You've suggested that consciousness arises when the quantum wave function collapses in structures in the brain's neurons called microtubules. Are you saying that collapse is an emergent phenomenon?

A: That depends on what type of collapse, or reduction, you're talking about, and few people agree on this. If you have a quantum wave function - a quantum superposition of multiple coexisting possibilities for example
which interacts with its classical environment it is said to decohere, a type of collapse. Interaction with a classical, non-quantum system destroys the quantum state. But if a quantum system remains isolated and avoids environmental decoherence, then what? This is the enigma of Schrodinger's cat in a box which remains in quantum superposition of both dead and alive until the box is opened. Roger Penrose's idea is that any quantum superposition will eventually reach a specific, objective threshold for collapse, or reduction, thus objective reduction, or OR. His rationale is that quantum superposition is actually a separation in underlying reality
the universe shreds at its most basic level. This is something like the multiple worlds hypothesis in which every superposition branches off to form a new universe. However in Roger's view these separations are unstable and after a specific time will reduce and choose one reality or the other.

Q: How did you and Penrose get together?

A: Roger had proposed that quantum computation which reduced by this type of OR self-collapse was the essential feature in consciousness, so you could say that consciousness emerged when OR occurred. Initially Roger didn't have a good structural candidate in the brain for such occurrences. I had been studying the microtubules within neurons and thought they acted like some type of computational device because their structure and functions resembled computers. I suggested to Roger that microtubules might be performing the quantum computation with OR he was looking for. So we teamed up and developed a model of consciousness in which the microtubule quantum processes were orchestrated by inputs from the synapses and we called it orchestrated objective reduction, now known as Orch OR.

Q: So what constitutes a conscious event?

A: Each Orch OR is essentially a conscious event, and a sequence of these events is our stream of consciousness. From the indeterminacy principle we could predict, for example, how many microtubules and how many neurons would be involved in conscious events which occur on a time scale matching physiological events known to occur in the brain. So for example we can have conscious events forty times per second. Looking at evolution, very simple organisms have fewer microtubules and so would require a long time until reaching threshold for a conscious event. Even a single electron in isolated superposition would eventually have an OR conscious event, but not for ten million years.

Q: Then where does consciousness begin?

A: A single cell organism would require a few minutes of quantum isolation which seems unlikely although single cell paramecia are absolutely still during sex, so maybe primitive sexual experience was the first form of consciousness. It turns out that at the level of roughly 300 neurons the time scale becomes reasonable to maintain quantum coherent superposition. That's about one tenth of a second. This is the level of small urchins and worms such as the nematode you mentioned, organisms similar to those present at the beginning of the Cambrian evolutionary explosion. This was the period about 540 million years ago when all the animal phyla appeared on the scene. So maybe that's when consciousness emerged and accelerated evolution.

Q: I've come to think of myself as an aspectist, in the tradition of Spinoza. He believed that mind and body were just two aspects of an underlying, absolute reality. How would you classify yourself?

A: I don't disagree with that but I'd call myself a panprotopsychist-the notion that whatever gives rise to consciousness is implicit and exists inherently everywhere in the universe. Protoconsciousness is an irreducible, fundamental feature of the universe like spin or charge waiting to be acted upon to produce consciousness. One philosopher who took a comparable view was Whitehead. He said the precursor of conscious experience was everywhere in the universe, and also that the universe is a process, made up of events rather than things. He viewed consciousness as a sequence of events, occasions of experience, occurring in a wider field of protoconscious experience. Whitehead's occasions of experience are compatible with and perhaps equivalent to quantum state reductions, for example Roger Penrose's OR events. Here we finally have a connection between philosophy and science.

Q: So you believe the universe is, in part, built of protoconsciousness.

A: Roger's OR is based on the idea that quantum superpositions are separations at the most basic level of the universe at the Planck scale. So you ask yourself, what is this basic level? What is the universe made of? Even mass is not fundamental according to Einstein. Atoms are mostly empty space as is most of the universe. So what is the universe made of? This argument has been going on since the Greeks. Is there a background fabric, or just an empty void? In the last few decades there's been a lot of intense work trying to understand the background pattern of the universe. It turns out that as we go down in scale, well below the size of atoms, things are smooth and featureless until we get to the apparent basement level of the universe known as the Planck scale, some 25 orders of magnitude smaller than atoms. Empty space seems smooth but at the Planck scale things get coarse and irregular, with a vast amount of information and energy. It's kind of like viewing the surface of the ocean from an airplane at 33,000 feet. The ocean seems smooth but if you were on the surface in a small boat you'd be tossed about by waves. How can we describe the Planck scale, basically quantum gravity? String theory has tried, but others, for example Lee Smolin, argue for spin networks, based on Roger Penrose's original idea that at this level everything is spin. The universe is made of spiderwebs of spin which define ultrasmall Planck volumes, or pixels of reality.

Q: Pixels of reality. That's a fetching image.

A: I'm oversimplifying it, but the number of possible shapes and edges and spins for each pixel is huge, and the number of pixels for example in the volume of our brains is incredibly vast. So the amount of information at the Planck scale is absolutely mind-boggling, and its also nonlocal - that is distributed, something like a hologram.

Q: So how do you tie this into panpsychism?

A: Everything - matter, energy, you name it - comes from curvatures, patterns and other properties originating at the Planck scale. If consciousness does have some fundamental, irreducible precursor it must originate as some sort of pattern at the same basic level of the universe. Philosophers call the raw components of conscious experience qualia. We're suggesting that qualia are specific patterns or properties at the Planck scale. Why not? If there's something fundamental and irreducible about consciousness or its precursors, as Spinoza and Whitehead said, then it has to exist somewhere. The Planck scale is all there is.

Q: But you usually don't translate from that level to this one we're living in. There isn't a direct correlation.

A: Ah but there is. That's the beauty of Roger's objective reduction. It's a bridge between the Planck scale and our everyday world, described by one simple equation - the uncertainty principle. Our brains, and our microtubules, make the connection. If our conscious experience is a compilation of fundamental qualia, then we're like a painter with a palette. All the individual colors are on the palette, and the artist takes a little of this, a little of that, and gets a Mona Lisa. So the colors are like the patterns of fundamental spacetime geometry from which processes in our brain select particular sets for each conscious moment. And if qualia are fundamental and exist at the Planck scale, then why not Platonic values like truth and beauty, good and evil.

Q: But you can already explain things like ethics, for instance, with Darwinian evolution. You don't need this explanation.

A: Ideas about beauty, for example, may change, for various cultural reasons if nothing else. But mathematical truth is constant as far as we can tell. In any case, as Smolin points out, even the Planck scale structure of spin networks has a dynamic evolution.

Q: Then you're a Platonist!

A: A Platonic naturalist I'd say, implying that Platonic values exist in a physical sense. That's what makes sense to me.

Q: What about near death experiences? You've said you may have an explanation for them that has to do with the quantum effects in the microtubules.

A: Assume consciousness is indeed occurring at the level of fundamental spacetime geometry at the Planck scale, connected to our brains by quantum processes in microtubules. Then if the brain stops working the quantum information at the Planck scale could persist and remain coherent because of quantum entanglement, leaking out into spacetime geometry outside the head. It's possible that the soul could be a particular distributed pattern in fundamental spacetime geometry at the Planck scale. I'd like to think that, anyway. It's sort of reassuring.

Q: How has all this theorizing affected your life?

A: It's enhanced my spiritual nature. I more or less rejected organized religion a long time ago. I like the idea that spirituality and God and consciousness could be part of the universe in a scientific way. I'm not saying we've explained these concepts because the more we learn the more we realize we don't know. It's very humbling to peel off one layer and find out how much more there is. Just consider the vastness at the Planck scale. If you take the sum total of this nonlocal, interconnected information and the idea of embedded Platonic values, that's pretty consistent with the idea of an omniscient, omnipresent, beneficent being.

Q: So is evil at the Planck scale?

A: Either evil is implicit at the Planck scale along with good, or evil people are wired differently biologically for whatever reason and are influenced in an aberrant way. But even so-called good people must allow themselves to be influenced by Platonic values rather than ignoring or over-riding them due to some needs or gratification.

Q: You've got a conference coming up this spring that discusses quantum mind.

A: Yes, its called "Quantum Mind 2003: Consciousness, quantum physics and the brain" and it will be held in Tucson March 15-19, 2003. Consciousness has played a role in quantum mechanics all the way back to the question of the observer effect. Quantum information technology including quantum computers are coming along very rapidly and will bring these ideas to the forefront soon. In every historical era we've compared our brains and minds to the vanguard information processing technologies so it will soon seem more natural to believe we have quantum computers in our heads. Critics point out that quantum computers need extreme cold to avoid decoherence, but we suspect evolution has solved that problem and we think we know how. In any case the decoherence debate will be one of the topics to be discussed. Information about the conference is at www.consciousness.arizona.edu/quantum-mind2 Thanks for asking.


This publication is hosted by Metanexus Online http://www.metanexus.net. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Metanexus or its sponsors.

Metanexus welcomes submissions between 1000 to 3000 words of essays and book reviews that seek to explore and interpret science and religion in original and insightful ways for a general educated audience. Previous columns give a good indication of the topical range and tone for acceptable essays. Please send all inquiries and submissions to . Metanexus consists of a number of topically focused forums (Anthropos, Bios, Cogito, Cosmos, Salus, Sophia, and Techne) and periodic HTML enriched composite digests from each of the lists.

Copyright notice: Except when otherwise noted, articles may be forwarded, quoted, or republished in full with attribution to the author of the column and "Metanexus: The Online Forum on Religion and Science ". Republication for commercial purposes in print or electronic format requires the permission of the author. Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 by Metanexus Institute.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.

Edited by Diploid (08/24/04 05:49 PM)

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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3045365 - 08/24/04 05:30 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)

*BUMP*

No one finds this astonishing enough to reply?


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.

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Offlinedeafpanda
Stranger
Registered: 05/07/04
Posts: 984
Loc: Inguland
Last seen: 12 years, 4 months
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3045396 - 08/24/04 05:38 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)

I'm gonna read it in the morning, I think :smile:

I've barely got consciousness on any scale right now

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OfflineTodcasil
rogue DMT elf
Female User Gallery

Registered: 08/08/99
Posts: 16,381
Loc: Crawling on the floor...
Last seen: 9 years, 5 months
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: deafpanda]
    #3045501 - 08/24/04 05:55 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)

the plank scale sounds like a sea of strange attractors. the uncertainty principal sounds like entropy... this article sounds good.

conclusion: thou art God.

peace


--------------------
Men look at themselves and they see flawed humans, we look at women and we see perfect
GODDESSES
Women look at themselves and they seem utterly human, when looking at men they see proud
GODS.


~Casil



:cactus:

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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
jiggy
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Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 7,469
Loc: Heart of Laughter
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3045504 - 08/24/04 05:56 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)

The spiderwebs of spin are getting closer to understanding the underlying fabric.

Sure, it's astonishing if this is new news.

And his propositon that evil people are wired differently was um.........he should've stuck with his first theory.

It'll expand some minds here. What kind of responces were you expecting? Share what YOU find astonishing and why. That may kick start discussions on it.


--------------------
Ahuwale ka nane huna.

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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #3045586 - 08/24/04 06:10 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Share what YOU find astonishing and why.




Alright. I am not a spiritual person; I'm a scientist always. Yet I find it astonishing, even spiritual, that the seat of conciousness may exists at sub-Planck scales. If this is so, then it will forever remain beyond the reach of science.

Experimentation is at the foundation of science, and no experiments can ever be performed to study anything below the Planck Scale. Is this a quirk of the universe or is it God placing a limit on what science can know?

I find it astonishing and disturbing to consider that science may be reaching a limit.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.

Edited by Diploid (08/24/04 06:51 PM)

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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
jiggy
Female User Gallery

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 7,469
Loc: Heart of Laughter
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3045776 - 08/24/04 06:48 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)

I see where you are at.

Enter the realms of spirit and energy.

Science will just embark on an evolutionary new beggining or die with the dinosaurs.


--------------------
Ahuwale ka nane huna.

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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #3185332 - 09/27/04 04:32 AM (19 years, 5 months ago)

So few people here seem to find this important? :confused:

One last try...

** Bump **


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.

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OfflineShroomerious
OO
Male

Registered: 07/27/03
Posts: 534
Last seen: 13 years, 8 months
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3185388 - 09/27/04 05:51 AM (19 years, 5 months ago)

I find this extremely interesting. If we understand how consciousness works we will take a huge step onto understanding the most foundamental values of our existence and could result into something objective. Really interesting.


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InvisibleClean
the lense
Male User Gallery

Registered: 05/11/03
Posts: 2,374
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3185412 - 09/27/04 06:11 AM (19 years, 5 months ago)

thanks for posting this, though i dont have time to read it now i certainly will.

to me it seems only obvious that our consciousness exists at the subatomic level. what we've discovered about quantum uncertainty might help to explain alot about the intricacies of consciousness.

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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Clean]
    #3185531 - 09/27/04 07:43 AM (19 years, 5 months ago)

consciousness exists at the subatomic level

It goes far deeper than this. The Planck Length is unimaginably tiny.  To get some idea of how small, consider that quarks are about 1,000 times smaller than protons. The Planck Length is 100 quadrillion times smaller than a quark. Lengths smaller than this do not make sense according to our current understanding of physics.

A seminal principal of modern Quantum Mechanics is Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle which, simplified, states that it is not possible to know both the position and the momentum of an object exactly. The more precisely you measure one parameter, the less you can know about the other. This means that as you zero in on an object's exact position down to the Planck Length, the uncertainty in your knowledge of its momentum approaches infinity.

The practical upshot of this is that no experiments can be conducted to probe below the Planck Scale, ever. If the thing(s) that give rise to consciousness (and for all we know space, time, reality, and more) really do occur below the Planck Scale, we can give up searching for them right now because they are forever beyond our reach by an intrinsic, fundamental, and unavoidable fiat of the universe.

When I first started trying to understand the implications of Quantum Mechanics, I discovered that what used to be science fiction was quickly becoming science. Weird ideas like superposition of realities a-la Schrodinger's Cat, for example. Superposition of Reality isn't a fanciful invention of physicists; all the available evidence points convincingly at the conclusion that multiple realities actually happen in the form of superposition. According to one interpretation of the evidence, every possible version of the universe exists superimposed on every other possible version and we experience only one.

Now I find the possibility that I don't really even exist here but maybe I exist in some unimaginably small place and I'm only manifested here by virtue of subtle quantum effects on the dance of proteins in my brain. And I thought it couldn't get any weirder than Superposition.

This is all well and good, but the part that really freaks me out is that since no experiments can be conducted to probe below the Planck Scale, and since experimentation is one of the most basic tools of science, it may be that the grand era of science is actually coming to an end.

Edit: P.S. I don't mean to say that this is the way things are, only that this is the way our best science currently says they are. As always, science stands ready to be corrected at any time.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.

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Offlinedeafpanda
Stranger
Registered: 05/07/04
Posts: 984
Loc: Inguland
Last seen: 12 years, 4 months
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3185660 - 09/27/04 08:56 AM (19 years, 5 months ago)

It's so weird, stuff like that. I'm gonna have to read up on it all. I remember reading once that particles can pop into existence on "borrowed" energy, and then disappear after a planck time, when they have to "pay back" the energy.

One question, though, why can't experiments be done below the planck scale? Is it because of Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle?

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InvisibleMoonshoe
Blue Mantis
 User Gallery

Registered: 05/28/04
Posts: 27,202
Loc: Iceland
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: deafpanda]
    #3186265 - 09/27/04 12:28 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

diploid dont worry its not that people arent interested its jus that it takes a certain degree of time and energy to digest something like this, and thats a damn big wordy post. I have read a tiny bit on this subject and was immediatly fascinated., You have my word i will read this whole motherlovin post when i have time, and in the meanwhile thank you muchly for postin it. Im pretty sure i already gave you five shrooms rite?

otherwise this would warrant em.


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


Everything I post is fiction.

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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/18/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3186335 - 09/27/04 12:48 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

The Planck Length is unimaginably tiny. To get some idea of how small...

If it is unimaginable, why do you try to get us to imagine it?  :tongue:


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



The proof is in the pudding.

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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Swami]
    #3186994 - 09/27/04 03:31 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

Eh, you're right, it's a futile exercise, but trying to imagine it and failing is a good start. :grin:


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.

Extras: Filter Print Post Top
Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
jiggy
Female User Gallery

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 7,469
Loc: Heart of Laughter
Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3187044 - 09/27/04 03:42 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

Give your imagination some credit. If you do imagine it in real life size, it is to small to see, but if in your imagination you make an atom the size of the solar system then you can start imagining what might be happening on that scale. Just make room for it by blowing up the scale your playing with.

This is one of those making size relative things. Imagine being the guys who work on these theories and models, they have to shift scale around relative to size and must've been imagining something beyond the atom to have been moved into this work first. Like you said, it's a start for you.


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Ahuwale ka nane huna.

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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: deafpanda]
    #3187045 - 09/27/04 03:42 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

why can't experiments be done below the planck scale? Is it because of Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle

It's more fundamental: speaking about a length smaller than the Planck Length (1.6 x 10^-35 meters) is meaningless given our current understanding of physics. It's like writing an equation containing division by zero.

Read some of the implied mind-blowing ideas re Planck Length at:

:whoa: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_length


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Republican Values:

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2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
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4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.

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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3188689 - 09/27/04 09:17 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

Some of the early pirates had some inkling when they had blokes walk the Planck...


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Swami]
    #3189793 - 09/28/04 12:26 AM (19 years, 5 months ago)

LMAO  :rotfl:


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.

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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3192882 - 09/28/04 06:49 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

well i read the whole thing line for line and can honestly say i didnt get an ounce of meaning from it

what was this all about? "Either evil is implicit at the Planck scale along with good, or evil people are wired differently biologically for whatever reason and are influenced in an aberrant way. But even so-called good people must allow themselves to be influenced by Platonic values rather than ignoring or over-riding them due to some needs or gratification."

what does any of this have to do with good and evil? in other words what the hell is he talking about in this paragraph?

I mean i didnt get any of it but this part in particular seemed incongrous. Maybe im stupid but for me this was like those annoying posts made of randomly generated buzzords to try and get people to comment on nonsense as if they understood it.

Im sure its just above my head though


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Moonshoe]
    #3192983 - 09/28/04 07:13 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

what was this all about? "Either evil is implicit at the Planck scale along with good, or evil people are wired differently biologically for whatever reason and are influenced in an aberrant way

There's some technical background and some of the usual good/evil philosophical dead ends, but don't let that get in the way of the interesting bit about consciousness. Take that stuff with a grain of salt. It's just him trying to make sense of something that's hard to make sense of.

Anesthesiologists and neurologists have no idea why anesthetics put us to sleep; they don't even know what makes us awake. It's the possible relation between deep quantum mechanical principals and the folding of proteins in the brain which appear to cause willed movements and actions and consciousness that's interesting.

This kinda sums it up:

"The question is, why would such very, very weak quantum mechanical forces in such tiny regions of certain proteins have such profound effects? The answer seems to be that proteins normally dance back and forth between different forms and shapes to perform their functions and what controls the dancing are quantum mechanical forces in these pockets - the pockets are like the tiny brain within each protein. What choreographs them all together is quantum coherence."

Edited by Diploid (09/29/04 03:07 AM)

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Offlinedeff
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Moonshoe]
    #3193036 - 09/28/04 07:26 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

Basically, if we along with everything else is composed entirely of nanoscopic (even smaller - planck scale) neutral particles, then how can a certain arrangement manifest the notion of morally good or morally evil?

My take - good and evil exist only within perception, and thus - our perception of these planck scale particles is a very unprecise and 'smooth' overlapping illusion. It is the pattern that emerges within our perceptions, also contained within this array of planck scale particles, that deludes itself into morals - based also off of the conditioning of others. Where does consciousness play a role in these particles? Maybe as a pattern becoming increasingly aware (subjectively) to that of the larger encompassing pattern?


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3193039 - 09/28/04 07:26 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

still has no meaning to me. Could you share some of what you find so exciting about that quote? what its relevance is?

If you would be so good im honestly trying and coming up with zero units of meaning here


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OfflineStinky
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3193745 - 09/28/04 11:27 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

Diploid, this is the first post here that made me look around and say "Wooahhh..." The thought of consciousness existing at such a tiny level blows my mind. Definately proof that we don't need silly drugs to be amazed. They're always nice though.

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Offlinetomk
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3194393 - 09/29/04 01:59 AM (19 years, 5 months ago)

The Hameroff/Penrose model of consciousness recieves a lot of criticism, and is considers dangerously close to the lunatic fringe.

Most of this criticism centers on the fact that some of the quantum stuff postulated needs precise lab conditions (especially, near absolute zero temperatures). Our brains, these critics argue, are too hot and too wet for these quantum processes to effect anything.

However, the wierd quantum effects can happen at room temperature when lasers are used in the right way, and I think the criticism of the theory is unfounded. The structures in the brain could do the quantum stuff with laserlike firings.

Pretty trippy stuff. I don't believe a guy goes into anesthesiology and studies consciousness without a huge interest in psychedelia. Call me crazy.

It turns out that the hameroff/penrose model will recieve support if a certain view called quantum loop gravity (a competitor to string theory) turns out correct. Quantum loop gravity suggests space is quantatized on the planck scale. There are experiments underway now, involving light from way far away galaxies, which will lend support or discredit quantum loop gravity. My prediction: Quantum loop gravity will be consistant with the results from the experiments, and that bears well for hameroffs theory. Look for results from these experiments in the next ten years.


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OfflineFrog
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3194421 - 09/29/04 02:09 AM (19 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Diploid said:
So few people here seem to find this important? :confused:

One last try...

** Bump **




The paragraphs are too big.  :grin: 

I don't have the time to break them down, so I'm not going to read them.  I'm sorry.  It's this brain I have.  It objects, or something.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard

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Offlinetomk
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3194444 - 09/29/04 02:18 AM (19 years, 5 months ago)

Ohh, I forgot to add.

Hameroffs theory offers a great explanation for the subjective experience of things like time slowing down during drug use or time speeding up when engaged in "flow" activities.

The quantum firings happen every so often, say once every thousandth of a second. However, on psychedelics, these firings speed up, to ten or even a hundred times normal speed. If this theory is correct, then the subjective experience of time during psychedelic and dissociative experiences has a very physical basis. It would feel like time is slowing down because you measure time internally with these firings, and they speed up. So, say 100,000 firings feels like one minute. If it was sped up ten times, then 1 minute would feel like ten, if it sped up 100 times, one minute would feel like over an hour. Anasthetics, then, would work by slowing down the firings, or stopping them all together, making one minute feel like 1 second, or even 1 hour feel like a tenth of a second. This effect would also account for near death experiences (that your entire life flashes before your eyes means the firings have sped way up. When you are engaged in creative 'flow', the firings slow down, and time seems to go faster. The firings stop when you dissociate and wander naked through the mall and then don't remember any of it.

Because this theory offers such a great explaination for these time distortions which I have experienced, I tend to believe it (or some refined version of it) is pretty dead on right. Because the model requires certain positions of other debates (that the many worlds hypothesis is false, for one) Hameroff and Penroses work motivate me to take positions in other aspects of quantum theory. It's pretty heady stuff, but it's rewarding to dig into.

I'd recommend reading some of Hameroffs papers from his website at the university of arizona. For the quantum physics newbies, I'd recommend working your way through "The Dancing Wu-Li Masters" by Gary Zukov before tackling Hameroffs work, it will lay out the quantum physics stuff in non mathematical terms. Wikipedia lays out the current debates in quantum physics well, and it's a great place to figure out where Hameroffs theory intersecs with other theories in quantum physics.


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"I am eternally free"

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OfflineTodcasil
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3195127 - 09/29/04 10:40 AM (19 years, 5 months ago)

"Maybe as a pattern becoming increasingly aware (subjectively) to that of the larger encompassing pattern? "


take that one step further (or several). think about enlightenment...

all epihpinies, enlightening experiences, ego loss, ego deaths... come down to that point.

i realise the greater truth, the greater pattern.

i think that is correct (your quote) based on my experience beyond the planck scale...

the planck scale is the most interesting thing ive read about this year, imo.


--------------------
Men look at themselves and they see flawed humans, we look at women and we see perfect
GODDESSES
Women look at themselves and they seem utterly human, when looking at men they see proud
GODS.


~Casil



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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Todcasil]
    #3195253 - 09/29/04 11:11 AM (19 years, 5 months ago)

"I'd recommend working your way through "The Dancing Wu-Li Masters"

ah awesome my dad has that book ive seen it on his shelf and never picked it up. Time to borrow it

:thumbup:

Metaphysical inquiry has led me to believe long ago that conciousness exists at every level from the infinitely small to the infinietly large, and this seems to be yet another example of math and physics catching up with spirituality/metaphysics

Quantum physics may just be that badly needed reconciliation between eastern and western, scientific and spiritual modes of thought.

So i should probably learn to understand some of it!

:blush:


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Diploid]
    #3195711 - 09/29/04 01:11 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

I dub the moral subatomic particles (drum roll please): a moron. :tongue2:


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Swami]
    #3196124 - 09/29/04 03:05 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

LMAO... hey, we're trying to have a serious conversation here... stop making me laugh!  :grin: :tongue:


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.

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Offlinetomk
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: Moonshoe]
    #3196633 - 09/29/04 05:31 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

"Metaphysical inquiry has led me to believe long ago that conciousness exists at every level from the infinitely small to the infinietly large, and this seems to be yet another example of math and physics catching up with spirituality/metaphysics"

Actually, if the Penrose/Hameroff model is correct, then a certain amount of complexity is needed before the networks are complex enough to support the quantum collapse needed. Or something like that.


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: Consciousness at the Planck Scale? [Re: tomk]
    #3208360 - 10/02/04 09:30 PM (19 years, 5 months ago)

Actually, if the Penrose/Hameroff model is correct, then a certain amount of complexity is needed before the networks are complex enough to support the quantum collapse needed. Or something like that.


Either sufficient complexity in a short time or sufficient time in a less-complex network.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.

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