Quantum Consciousness

Zeepheus
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Quantum Consciousness

I was curious what the group thought about Quantum Consciousness. While I do not think it answers all of the questions regarding the development of human consciousness and an explanation for so called "near death experiences" I do feel it has many positive things going for it. It offers some intriguing theories and ideas about the origins of consciousness. I do not claim to in any way be an expert on this subject but I have read both support and opposition and just wondered what anyone here thought.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

You see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.


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Well, I have not really tracked the subject much, it does sound like a good dose of skepticism is in order on this. Just looking on the wikipedia page shows that there are several competing ideas out there. Most are comping from people who are working way far out of their core fields of study.

 

Then too, there is the fact that quantum effects do not scale well to structures as large as neurons. Perhaps there would be a low level of background noise which is of some relevance but remember that the effect would be statistical in nature. Very similar to the people who try to do EVP work from noise sources. Probably there are no actual signals to be found but it does not stop people from trying to ger meaning from non-meaning.

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Zeepheus wrote:I was curious

Zeepheus wrote:

I was curious what the group thought about Quantum Consciousness. While I do not think it answers all of the questions regarding the development of human consciousness and an explanation for so called "near death experiences" I do feel it has many positive things going for it. It offers some intriguing theories and ideas about the origins of consciousness. I do not claim to in any way be an expert on this subject but I have read both support and opposition and just wondered what anyone here thought.

Quantum theory is one of those things that is so easy to fool oneself into thinking one understands it, and end up making claims that any quantum physicist would facepalm at hearing.

As far as I know, there is exactly zero science behind the idea of quantum consciousness. IMNSHO, the big draw that is so attractive is the idea that quantum consciousness provides an escape hatch which would allow free will and still be compatible with modern science. Unfortunately, it completely fails to live up to this hope. But still, because most people do not really understand the core ideas behind quantum theory, most people therefore do not realize that quantum theory does not help the idea of free will.

First off, anyone who talks about quantum consciousness and 'energy waves' without talking about quantum wave equations is, frankly, full of shit. Quantum theory is first and foremost mathematical. If they're not talking about math, they're not really talking about quantum theory. This is the first thing you need in your baloney detection kit. People like Deepak Chopra are just shysters.

Second off, quantum theory is already fundamentally underlying all of chemistry, and so any physical theory of consciousness will already be at its basis a 'quantum' theory of consciousness, because all of brain chemistry relies upon the quantum properties of electrons. But it would be silly to call any such theory a specifically 'quantum' theory, since it will almost certainly be described at a higher level of abstraction, such as at the neuron, synapse, neurotransmitter, cytoplasm, and intra-cellular matrix level.

Remember that most atoms share at least two electrons (even Hydrogen, the simplest element, usually shares an additional electron in a covalent bond with another atom), and almost all chemicals involved in brain chemistry will consist of dozens--if not hundreds or thousands--of interconnected atoms. This is already way above and beyond the scale at which quantum properties dominate the physics.

Already we're at the level of standard thermodynamics, which is an inherently probabilistic theory which 'averages out' quantum indeterminacy across a multitude of particles/waves. Any quantum effects are 'lost in the noise', and yet thermodynamics is still perfectly capable of handling complex chemical reactions of the sort which would underlie human neural consciousness.

There is simply no reason to expect that quantum theory per se will be required for us to describe consciousness scientifically. We are already able to modify consciousness with anaesthetics, psychedelic drugs, and other substances that work on a simple thermodynamically chemical level. There is no reason to believe that LSD has any special quantum properties beyond it's chemical effects on neurotransmission.

You could believe that all you want, if it tickles your fancy, but there's no reason to believe it's actually, really true.

IMNSHO, you would do much better to learn about neuroscience, cognitive science, information theory, machine learning, and even evolution (such as human evolution, and the evolution of the brain), than to bother with ideas of quantum consciousness. Heck, just learn a little bit about real quantum theory, and you'll quickly see that it cannot really apply to human-level consciousness in such a thermodynamically complex system as even a single neuron or synapse. It just doesn't add anything to our understanding. It's basically navel gazing.

Don't get me wrong, I love navel gazing. But when I'm staring at my belly button, I realize that's what I'm doing, and I don't delude myself into believing my insights are magically superior to the best science we have. Wondering about this stuff is harmless if it's just wondering, and it can lead you to learn about how things really work, which is far cooler, I assure you.

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For example, check this shit

For example, check this shit out: BILL #3: “Synapses and the Self” by V.S. Ramachandran

Quote:

BILL #3: “Synapses and the Self” by V.S. Ramachandran

| 3 Comments

Bill&Ted2Crop.jpgUPDATE: Links are now changed to take you to the newer BBC site, on which you can listen to the lecture without the hassle of getting RealPlayer. And you can download the lecture as a podcast if you prefer.

The third BILL is a brilliant foray into neuroscience, focused on consciousness and the human brain.

BILL the third is “Synapses and the Self,” by Vilayanur S. Ramachandran. Ramachandran is the author of Phantoms in the Brain (1999) and most recently of The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for What Makes Us Human, published this year.

This lecture is audio only, accompanied by a transcript. It was the second in Ramachandran’s five-lecture series “The Emerging Mind,” which was the 2003 installment in the fantastic Reith Lectures. All five lectures are riveting; this one includes some thoughts on human evolution and might thereby ensnare many Panda’s Thumb regulars. If you can’t get enough of Ramachandran after this introduction, you’ll find videos of other lectures and a NOVA appearance on the ‘tubes. And he blogs a bit; the most recent entries discuss his remembrances of Francis Crick.

I encourage you to listen without referring to the transcript; he’s very clear and fun to listen to.

Here are some things to look for and think about:

  • The fallacy of imagining perception to be analogous to a little guy in your brain.
  • Neural representations of reality as “an alien code.”
  • The remarkable phenomenon of blindsight and what it tells us about the brain.
  • Conscious vs. unconscious systems in the brain.
  • A reference to Bertrand Russell, the first Reith Lecturer.
  • “Looking glass syndrome.” In honor of you know who.
  • Anosognosia. A mean case of denial.
  • The famous mirror neurons, and why they might matter in human evolution.

Listen to “Synapses and the Self” by V.S. Ramachandran. The link puts you into the BBC iPlayer to listen online. You can also download the .mp3 here.

See original post at Panda's Thumb

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I am going to give you my

I am going to give you my blunt blasphemous opinion on this.

BULL PUCKY!

Quantum consciousness?

Really?

Ok, take every part of your car apart, EVERY SINGLE PART, Then, stick the key in the ignition 40 yards away and see if the car reassembles itself and starts itself.

A hurricane cannot exist without parts, but those parts have to be connected in a pattern to manifest. When the hurricane hits land, it gets shredded.

What you have posted for discussion is Star Trec garbage. It would be like saying that the one rain drop itself organized the entire hurricane.

I have a friend named Hillbilly Atheist, jokingly remind me that every atom in me started out in the same singularity as Ann Coulter. So does that mean by proxy her lips and my ass were connected at one point in cosmic history?

Thought requires a material process. When that material does not exist, or when it gets disrupted beyond a useful degree, it is no longer the thing it once was. Just like a snowdrift cannot exist without snowflakes and will not exist after it melts.

Quantum consciousness really says to me that, even if you don't buy it yourself, someone has been peddling the pantheist idea of the universe being a consciousness itself.

Do not confuse the fact that thoughts are not a material thing themselves, as being an excuse to make up buzz words that sound sciencey.

Running is not a thing itself. When you run, you move your legs faster and faster in a forward motion. Is there a "quantum running"?

Both running and thoughts are a manifestation of a natural process and need material to manifest.

DONT confuse lagit quantum science with justifying a thinking being of any kind.

 

 

 

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Brian37 wrote:Running is not

Brian37 wrote:

Running is not a thing itself. When you run, you move your legs faster and faster in a forward motion. Is there a "quantum running"?

Good analogy for explaining the idea of processes, Brian.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?

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Zeepheus
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The feedback is very much

The feedback is very much appericated. My problem here is I have no one to bounce anything like this off of. I work construction (not by choice) and trust me this stuff is WAY over their heads. It is also way beyond what they care about which is beer, sports, and politics. Unfortunatly none of our freinds have any intrest in this either. So my issue is I find an idea like this that on the surface seems interesting and I read some about it but I am totaly reliant on what I can find to read about it and by a very limited time to read. This is one of the reasons why I think this forum will be benifical I can find most topics I want to see more about on here and read on them and you all provide good links for other source material. Again thanks for the feedback it has given me some more info to chew on.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

You see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.


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If your reading time is

If your reading time is limited, but you are able to use an mp3 player, a great way to keep up with things is to find some good podcasts on topics you are interested in and listen to them while driving or surfing the net or whatever. Since you work construction, you might even be able to listen to podcasts at work, as long as it doesn't interfere with safety. You could even just use one ear-phone, since most podcasts aren't in stereo anyway. I can't think of any specifically related to consciousness, but if you look around, you'll find something. Maybe others have some suggestions?

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Oh, I just thought of one

Oh, I just thought of one great podcast that I used to listen to all the time, the Infidel Guy Show. I don't know if he's still making new shows, but he has tons of stuff in his archives, and it's totally worth it to subscribe as a 'gold member' to download them. I highly recommend it to anyone: http://www.infidelguy.com/modules.php?name=Subscribe

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I would highly

I would highly recommend

http://www.brainsciencepodcast.com/

by Ginger Campbell, MD

I found it immensely interesting. She doesn't put them out as frequently as she used to, but there's now 76 available.

Then there is

http://www.nature.com/neurosci/neuropod/index.html

From Nature magazine in the UK.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Zeepheus wrote:The feedback

Zeepheus wrote:

The feedback is very much appericated. My problem here is I have no one to bounce anything like this off of. I work construction (not by choice) and trust me this stuff is WAY over their heads. It is also way beyond what they care about which is beer, sports, and politics. Unfortunatly none of our freinds have any intrest in this either. So my issue is I find an idea like this that on the surface seems interesting and I read some about it but I am totaly reliant on what I can find to read about it and by a very limited time to read. This is one of the reasons why I think this forum will be benifical I can find most topics I want to see more about on here and read on them and you all provide good links for other source material. Again thanks for the feedback it has given me some more info to chew on.

Just protect your supply of "Peiri air" and don't give up your combination 1-2-3-4-5, and you will be fine.

In all seriousness though. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have learned in 10 years being on line and how many books I have read as a result.

One of my most favorite books is Victor Stinger's "New Atheism"

But the "God Delusion" by Dawkins was great too.

However, as I like to poke fun of is Christopher Hitchens "Portable Atheist".....HOLY SHIT DUDE, THAT THING WAS THICKER THAN A PHONE BOOK!

Portable my ass. You need a sea port crane to pick that fucking thing up. I threw out my back and put myself in traction trying to pick that thing up. Olympic weight lifters use it for competition.

Oh as an aside, back to the Spaceballs movie,

Worst boy.........Adolph Hitler (it's in the credits at the end of the movie), but I am sure you know that.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Zeepheus
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I wish I had the ability to

I wish I had the ability to use an MP3 player at work but I am usualy on highway projects or in the refinery or the power house and they will fire you for an MP3. I do however have an MP3 port in my car so that at least is an idea. I will look into the podcasts that you have listed.  I do have a small collection of books and am always looking for more when I have time. I am a big fan of Clifford Pickover especialy "The paradox of god and the science of omniscience" I also like Daniel Dennett, and Stephen Hawking amongst others.

 

I also just found out that I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

You see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.


Brian37
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Zeepheus wrote:I wish I had

Zeepheus wrote:

I wish I had the ability to use an MP3 player at work but I am usualy on highway projects or in the refinery or the power house and they will fire you for an MP3. I do however have an MP3 port in my car so that at least is an idea. I will look into the podcasts that you have listed.  I do have a small collection of books and am always looking for more when I have time. I am a big fan of Clifford Pickover especialy "The paradox of god and the science of omniscience" I also like Daniel Dennett, and Stephen Hawking amongst others.

 

I also just found out that I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate.

So what does that make us?..............Absolutely nothing.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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I really recommend the

I really recommend the podcast Skeptic's Guide to the Universe. It has a great quality and it's completely free. (of course you can donate)

http://www.theskepticsguide.org/archive/podcast.aspx?mid=1

Audio books are wonderful too. I had listened to Dr. Shermer's "Why people believe weird things" and someone else's "A complete idiot's guide to string theory".

Mr. Shermer also explains there the near-death experiences, why people see a tunnel and light and what chemical changes in brain are responsible for this. There is still many things about the brain we don't know, for example if there are any endogenous hallucinogens produced in brain and what role they play in various situations in life and death. There are receptors for them in brain, they are pretty much like neurotransmitters. But substances like DMT are powerful, yet decompose so quickly, (5-15 minutes) that probably nobody yet caught them red-handed.

As for origin of consciousness, I've dug deep, deeper than most of people and found some things. (subjectively, of course) These things correlate with science, that is not in popular academic limelight at the moment. The feeling of the self or having a personality is indeed an illusion that may under some circumstances drop.
But what I work with really, is nothing more than another vehicle of consciousness, a finer and deeper layer of hardware on which it runs. Not the cause itself. I don't want to get into the infinite regression fallacy, but I found out that beyond the dense body there is this etheric body, it is a receiver of consciousness and it passes it onto the dense body's brain and nerve system.

It is like a light from somewhere, with several filters in front of it. What we perceive at the end, is a sumtotal of clarity of the filters, the remaining light of consciousness that gets through. Obviously, the quality and health of the last filter, the physical brain itself, is very important and finally determines the result.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.